Friday, July 21, 2006

Soles4Souls at WSA!


New Outreach Program Launching at WSA Aids American Children

ENCINO, Calif. (July 19, 2006) -- Diane Stone, chief operating officer of WSA, which produces the WSA Show, the world’s largest and most comprehensive footwear and accessories trade show, certainly knows the value of a perfect pair. When she was approached by two different charities – Soles4Souls and Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) – about exhibiting at the WSA Show, both wanting to reach out to the footwear industry for help to provide footwear to those in need, she immediately began match-making.

The result of Stone’s efforts and those conversations is a powerful new partnership. Soles4Soles and K.I.D.S. have announced a program to provide footwear to children in need in the United States. They will share information about this new initiative and sign up partners at their display in the lobby of the Sands Expo at the WSA Show, August 1-4, 2006.

“Here were two organizations independently inquiring about how they might work with WSA to gain visibility in the industry to help them achieve their missions,” said Ms. Stone. “It was clear that they would have a stronger presence if they collaborated to reach out to everyone at the show. We just facilitated that conversation between the two organizations and helped brainstorm how they could appear together at WSA.”
“Diane and her team at WSA immediately saw synergies between our two organizations’ efforts to serve underserved children and brought us together,” said Soles4Soles President Paul Wilson. “Soles4Soles has the infrastructure to collect and deliver donations of footwear. K.I.D.S. has a network of more than 1,100 distribution points throughout the U.S. that reach children in need. Together, we created a powerful system to gather donations of footwear from retailers, manufacturers and others and get it where it’s needed most.”

Janice Weinman, president of K.I.D.S., said, “We are committed to improving the lives of children in distress. Soles4Souls will help establish key donation channels to help us fill the need for children’s footwear in the U.S. WSA’s support was critical in bringing this partnership to life. We look forward to meeting people in the footwear industry at WSA who want to help us help kids.”

Stone added, “All year long, our team at WSA is helping create partnerships between buyers and manufacturers and licensors of footwear, so bringing these two organizations together was natural. We also work closely with the footwear industry’s own Two Ten Foundation, so we know that there are a lot of caring and generous people in our industry who do not hesitate to help others. We wish Soles4Souls and K.I.D.S. the best of luck at the August show and beyond.”

K.I.D.S., founded in 1985, is a global charity that works with leading retailers, manufacturers and licensors of children’s and youth products, in partnership with major foundations, to help improve the lives of children and their families who struggle with illness, poverty or natural disasters. Since its founding, K.I.D.S. has donated over $500 million worth of merchandise to more than 60 million children in need. For more information, visit or call 212/279-5493.

Soles4Souls was founded by Wayne Elsey, a long term footwear industry executive. Soles4Souls facilitates the donation of shoes to those in need worldwide. Operating as, it collected more than one million pairs of shoes for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and the Asian tsunami. More recently, Soles4Soles partnered with Feed the Children to deliver over 85,000 pairs of new and used footwear to the orphans and refugees of Uganda. Soles4Soles accepts donations of footwear for children and adults, alike, with a focus on athletic, outdoor, casual, comfort, workwear, boots and sandals. Visit for more information.

About the World Shoe Association (WSA)
Twice a year in Las Vegas, WSA simultaneously hosts the WSA Show, the world’s largest and most comprehensive marketplace for the footwear industry, and The Collections at WSA, the world’s largest luxury footwear event. Featuring over 6,000 brands and nearly 36,000 participants, these combined events offer an unmatched opportunity for manufacturers to showcase their products and for buyers to discover the latest trends. The WSA Show is the must-attend event for anyone involved in the footwear and accessories industry. For more information, please visit or


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