Thursday, September 10, 2015

Monday, August 30, 2010

We're Moving!!!

We've experienced tremendous growth & changes over the past few months. One area of focus that has experienced improvement is our social media outlets. Our purpose in making these changes is to engage people in new ways, ultimately enabling more people to get involved with our mission.

With that said, we're excited to announce that the Soles4Souls Blog officially has a new home:

From now on, our blog will be updated from the new site. We hope that you will continue to follow the new blog for updates & stories. You can subscribe to the blog by clicking here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

10,000 Shoes on your Doorstep

     Most people have closets cluttered with a far-too-many shoes. Now imagine having thousands of used shoes arrive at your house daily. That's what happens at one of the four Soles4Souls collection centers. Allan and I visited the Las Vegas warehouse to drop off some donated shoes people had given us It's amazing how often people see the Soles4Souls RV and motion us to pull over so they can give us used shoes from the trunk of their car! They always say, "I've had these shoes in my car for several weeks and didn't know what to do with them."

While dropping off the shoes, we met the friendly warehouse staff and volunteers who manage the thousands of shoes arriving on a daily basis. These guys are very efficient, so keep those shoes coming!

The Soles4Souls RV is making its way across the country as a part of The Great American Shoe Drive. Allen & Silvana Clark have been traveling the country distributing shoes & promoting our cause. Next week, the RV makes its way to Los Angeles to collect & distribute shoes.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Photo of the Week

48 orphaned Haitian children and only one pair of plastic slippers. These are the feet of children who lost everything in the earthquake, including their home and their schoolhouse. Being able to put new shoes on their feet was an experience unlike any other.
It was hard to tell who was more blessed by the shoe distributions were doing: the children or the Soles4Souls team?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Motorcycle Boots & JellyPops

     The Soles4Souls RV is making its way across the country as a part of The Great American Shoe Drive. Allen & Silvana Clark have been traveling the country distributing shoes & promoting our cause. This week, Silvana shares stories from last week's distribution in Salt Lake City:

     The statistics are horrifying. It is estimated that 50% of deaf women are sexually abused. The Sego Lily Center for the Abused Deaf (SLCAD) is an advocacy agency designed to meet the specific needs of Deaf, Deaf/Blind and Hard of Hearing victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Salt Lake City. Allan and I were privileged to be able to give this agency high-quality, new shoes. Last week, our distribution at the refugee center was very loud with people speaking in their native languages to each other from one side of the room to another.

 Our distribution at the Community Center for the Deaf was a bit on the quite side as people used their hands to sign to each other. With the help of two interpreters we were able to fit men, women and children with shoes. Most of the participants are on SSI or live off Social Security checks and can seldom afford new shoes. We had the best time matching shoes to each person’s “personality”.

      One woman entered the room with spunk and energy and left with a pair of sparkling pink shoes. Another woman had a job where she needed dressier shoes, but couldn’t afford to buy a pair. The slip-on shoes donated by JellyPops were perfect for her.

   Then of course was the thrill of finding a pair of shoes for a deaf Harley Rider!

   We were able to acquire the Olympic torch from the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. It was neat to see peoples faces light up when they got to hold the torch.

     Later, a staff member commented that she had never seen so many people smiling and walking with a new “spring” in their step.

     “You gave our clients something special,” she told us. What more could we ask for?

Our Next Stop: Los Angeles
- Check out The Great American Shoe Drive Map for the complete list of the cities, dates & event details.
-  Follow the tour on Twitter & use the hashtag #giveshoes when you make a donation.
- Tell us about your Great American Shoe Drive experience.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wahoo Runs for Soles

     We love to hear stories from people who are changing the world one pair at a time.  We recently worked with college athlete Erin Curran who wanted to combine her passion for running with making a difference in the world.  
     Erin is a cross country and track & field athlete at Black Hills State University, where she will begin her sophomore year in the fall. This summer, Erin wanted to coordinate a road race in her community and thought that it would be fun to incorporate some sort of cause. She then decided that participants could have the option of donating shoes for people in need. Erin chose to make the race a shoe drive for Soles4Souls. Finally, Wahoo’s Shoes for the Sole Run/Walk event was born!

     We thought it would be interesting to ask Erin some questions about her shoe drive experience...

Q. When you first began organizing the 5k, why did you choose partner with Soles4Souls?
A. When I first began planning this event, I was unsure of where to send the shoes. I did some research and found that Soles4Souls distributed shoes around the world and also to places here in the United States. Their mission was inspiring and made me want to join the cause!

Q. How did you get other people involved in your shoe drive? How did you promote your event?
A. Promotion was a key factor. I put up flyers, advertised the event in the local newspaper, created a Wahoo Running Facebook page, and asked area businesses for their support. The community was very receptive, which was apparent by the number of shoes collected.

Q. What has been the best part about your experience?
A,  The best part of my experience was seeing the event come to fruition. It was hard work putting on the road race. However, watching the participants truly enjoy themselves at the event, and looking on as the pile of shoes grew larger, more than made up for the stresses and work. The happiness I felt was overwhelming!

Q. Any interesting or funny stories that involve collecting shoes?
A. Participants who gave shoes at the Shoes for the Sole Run/Walk were put into a drawing to win one of two gift certificates to Lincoln Running Co., a specialty running store in Lincoln, Nebraska. When we called off one of the names, a tiny, five-year-old girl came to the front to claim her prize! It was adorable and refreshing to see that someone so small is making a difference in the world around her.

Q. If you could give one piece of advice for someone who was wanting to host a shoe drive, what would you say?
A. If a person is thinking about hosting a shoe drive I would tell them to take action! Don’t be afraid to ask for help or of a low success rate. After all, in the words of Soles4Souls, it’s about “changing the world one pair at a time.”

We're extremely grateful for people, like Erin, who are passionate about changing lives by giving the gift of shoes.
If you have a story from your shoe drive, share it with us!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Photo of the Week: D.C. kids get new shoes

     Sondra Clark, a spokesperson for Soles4Souls, headed up an all-day shoe distribution with the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington DC. Almost 3,500 children participated in creating inventions for fun and prizes.
     Sondra,  organized the distribution and helped the volunteers understand the noise level that all those kids create! During the event, we were able to give the gift of new shoes to many children as they head back to school.