On August 17, a request was posted on Facebook, and hundreds of people responded by giving used and new sports shoes to an organization that supports migrant workers.
Throughout the island, 12 collecting points—the volunteers’ homes for ItsRainingRaincoats—saw the donation of hundreds of pairs of shoes in just five days.
ItsRainingRaincoats started the donation effort after realizing that many migrant workers lack sports shoes when planning a sports day with games like paintball, archery tag, and dance workouts.
“For years, ItsRainingRaincoats has been collecting pre-loved items because we believe in compassion as well as sustainability. We don’t want people to throw away things they don’t need but which migrant workers do need but cannot afford.” Dipa Swaminathan, 50, the founder of ItsRainingRaincoats, remarked.
Over 20 migrant employees used the donated shoes at the sports day on August 21. On August 20, about 50 migrant workers received the shoes during a drive-by distribution at construction sites.
The unclaimed shoes have been put at InspIRRe, the organization’s new location in Upper Paya Lebar Road, which will open on September 3. Free things are available for migrant workers to take from the location, which accepts donations of bags, mattresses, fans, and rice cookers from the general public.
Mr. Panneerparthiban, a 33-year-old migrant worker who participated in the sports day and received a pair of shoes, said he enjoys the shoes and intends to wear them on weekends and for physical activity.
He continued by saying that despite making approximately $900 a month and sending about $650 to his family back home, he could not buy sports shoes.
Many of the donated athletic shoes, according to Ms. Dipa, were of good quality and included names like Nike, Adidas, Vans, and Converse. Even new shoes were purchased by some sponsors for the migrant employees.