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Day 91: Planet Aid and My K-Swiss

Planet Aid Bin

When I was 11 years old (1974) I got my first pair of K-Swiss tennis shoes.  K-Swiss was the first leather tennis shoe and made its debut at Wimbledon with my tennis idol and arguably the best tennis player to ever play the game, Björn Borg.  A big strapping blonde-haired Swede (can you guess what I wanted to be?),  he won 11 grand-slam tennis titles between 1974 and 1981. Four French open titles and five consecutive Wimbledon titles (tied with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer respectively, who by the way have better designed tennis shoes today).  Out he strode with K-Swiss tennis shoes and the rest was history.

Well today I retired a bit of my past when I deposited a pair of all-white K-Swiss tennis shoes into the Planet Aid donation box.  Planet Aid is a non-profit organization that collects and sells donated clothes and shoes to support development in impoverished communities around the world.  With 11,000 yellow collection boxes in 20 states, Planet Aid recycles 100,000,000 pounds of used clothing and shoes, the equivalent of 254 Boeing 747 Jumbo jets!   The clothing, rather than entering a landfill somewhere, is instead bundled and sold to exporters, who then reuse and sell the clothing at affordable prices in the developing world.  The proceeds are then used to fund programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America, where Planet Aid has supported 60 projects in 15 countries to the tune of $60 million.  These projects include emergency and disaster relief, health, education, food production, and income generation for some of the world’s most impoverished people.  My K-Swiss tennis shoe donation today is a small part of reusing the discarded items from the rich part of the world to help my fellow brethren who did not “win the birth lottery” of the developed world, as Warren Buffet has been quoted as saying.  Here are a few of the locations where you can donate:

* 7-11 parking lot on River Road
* Citgo gas station on Westbard Avenue
* Western Market parking lot

Do you own a business?  You can host a bin if you have a 3×4 area that is easily accessible for pickup.  Click here to learn more.  The bins are emptied several times a week.

So my K-Swiss are headed to the developing world.  Perhaps a young person will slip them on and begin the journey to Wimbledon or the French Open, or perhaps just have an easier trek to the market.  Everything we do makes an impact somewhere.  Keep Planet Aid in mind next time something fits a little snug (which happens often to me because I am lucky to live here where food is abundant). According to the latest annual report from the qualified non-profit (IRS 501(c)(3)), 82% of the revenues the charitable organization receives go directly to supporting programs abroad.  ~Brian

  1. So Sad

    You really should do some research before you donate to Planet Aid. They are part of a cult-like group called Tvind. The members call themselves the Teachers Group. And like most cults, their leaders live in grotesque luxury…theirs once lived in a multi-million dollar condo on Fisher Island, Florida. Planet Aid sells the clothes through a Tvind company run by Teachers Group members, to which they pay hundreds of thousands of $$$ for this service. Don’t believe me? Fine, just check out the audits posted on the Massachusetts state website for yourself. And while you are actually researching, be sure to look into the new Tvind complex down in Las Pulgas, Baha California, Mexico. Like I said, grotesque luxury. Green? Yeah sure, like the money they scammed from you.

  2. Day 91: Planet Aid and My K-Swiss « planetaidinc

    […] Day 91: Planet Aid and My K-Swiss April 11, 2011 tags: Clothes Bins, Planet Aid, Textile recycling by Planet Aid When I was 11 years old (1974) I got my first pair of K-Swiss tennis shoes.  K-Swiss was the first leather tennis shoe and made its debut at Wimbledon with my tennis idol and arguably the best tennis player to ever play the game, Björn Borg.  A big strapping blonde-haired Swede (can you guess what I wanted to be?),  he won 11 grand-slam tennis titles between 1974 and 1981. Four French open titles and five consecutive Wimbledon titles (tied with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer respectively, who by the way have better designed tennis shoes today).  Out he strode with K-Swiss tennis shoes and the rest was history……Read full Blog Here: Full Blog […]

  3. Lou

    Gotta agree with ‘So Sad.’ You really should research this “qualified” nonprofit better. Sounds like you’ve only been reading their own P.R. What exactly are these programs abroad that Planet Aid supports? They misrepresent their mission, their business practices, and more. They prey upon those who want to be charitable and those who want to recycle —-for their own profit, and now they have used you for advertizing! You are making them seem legitimate, which they are not.

  4. Bethesda 365

    Lou, Thank you for your comment and for visiting Bethesda365. We blog about things we use, see, experience and enjoy about Bethesda. We, like many people, have “used” the drop boxes as a convenient way to redistribute clothing and other items versus throwing them away. However, your comment, and those from others since we have posted that blog, have certainly given us pause and we have researched more about PlanetAid. We appreciate your honest feedback and thank you for visiting Bethesda365.com. Your feedback will be visible on the site so future readers can also hear your perspective and check into the facts for themselves before deciding whether or not to deposit their goods. Thanks again. ~Amy

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