Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Honduras Vice President welcomes Soles4Souls!

Thanksgiving in Honduras

Soles4Souls, Inc. has been invited by the Second Lady of Honduras, Mrs. Santos, and the Secretary of Health and Nutrition, Mrs. Cerratro, to distribute shoes in their country. During the week of Thanksgiving a team from Soles4Souls will be distributing shoes that have been so generously donated by individuals, retailers, and wholesalers such as Timberland, Bates (Wolverine World Wide), Prop├ęt, USA, and Ugg. The main recipients of these shoes live in and around the landfill of the capital city of Honduras --Tegucigalpa.

The garbage trucks collect the trash of the city, which is comprised of approximately 1.6 million people, and unload around the clock in the city’s landfill. Thousands find their daily needs met by rummaging through this garbage. Most of these have little or no footwear. Shoes received over the next three weeks will be earmarked for Honduras as the government has rolled out the red carpet for us to work in this region on an ongoing basis.

Donations at all time high!

Weekly Donations Hit Record Highs

During the month of September, donations to Soles4Souls, Inc. have climbed to an average of 15,000 pairs per week. We have received donations from individuals, churches, schools, retailers, and manufacturers ranging from 1 pair to 20,000 pairs. Every donation is important to our team no matter the quantity. We are reaching these record numbers because all donors are simply giving their best whether it is a few pairs or thousands of pairs. All donations add up to make a difference for the hurting world-wide.

Add Peru, Mexico and Brazil to the list!!!

New Distribution Points Established

Sole4Souls, Inc. is always looking for new areas to expand their distribution of footwear to those in need. However, this expansion can only occur when there is a distribution infrastructure in place to ensure that the product is handled appropriately and that the shoes benefit those in need. New countries that recently received shoes for the first time are:
Peru
Brazil
Mexico

Thanks Jennifer from Inc. Magazine!!

How One Person Is Making a Difference

Jennifer Mahran, Senior Events and Merchandising Manger for Inc. Magazine, contacted Soles4Souls after returning from a trip to Southeast Asia. The account that follows is all too common in our world. With the work that Jennifer is doing here to help S4S set up shipping and distribution logistics in Nepal, her life is making a difference thousands of miles away.

By Jennifer Mahran
I was several days into an eighteen-day trek of the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal. Every day of the trek was a grueling adventure. The sunny 90 degree weather of the first day was demanding, but nothing compared to the temperatures that quickly followed as elevations reached higher and higher and temperatures dipped easily below freezing.

One night early in the trek Shai, my Israeli trekking partner, and Subas, our Nepali porter, stopped at a guest house for dinner and sleep. We were met by another group of Israeli trekkers and their guide. Later on their two frazzled porters joined us. One of the porters was a local man from a tiny town along the path. He was ill-prepared for the weather ahead, wearing only a tattered white sweater, ripped cotton pants, and flip flops.

The dilemma for the Israeli trekkers was what to do with him. They needed a porter, but this one, obviously, wouldn’t be able to make the 15,000+ foot pass called the Thorong La which was covered in snow year round. The Israeli’s, by hiring him, were responsible for his safety and realized that as the temperatures dropped they were putting this porter’s health at risk.

The morning after meeting all of them I was getting ready to start my day when I heard a light knock on my door. It was the local porter. I couldn’t really understand what he was saying to me in Nepali, but through hand gestures I realized his dilemma. He was begging me for clothes and shoes so that he wouldn’t get fired. I honestly can’t remember if I had anything to give him, but I do know that he did get fired a day or two later. You simply cannot do the Thorong La Pass in flip flops and expect to keep your toes. But, this man, and many others are willing to take that chance in order to earn just a few dollars to feed themselves and their families.

If you have any winter boots (preferably waterproof) please send them as soon as possible as Soles4Souls prepares to ship winter boots into this region.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Daniel Craig from Feed the Children joins Soles4Souls as Director of Procurement!

Soles4Souls Hires Daniel Craig as Director of Procurement

Soles4Souls, the new charity dedicated to providing free footwear to needy people around the world, announced today it has hired Daniel Craig as Director of Procurement.

"We are very pleased to have Daniel join our team as Director of Procurement, which is a new position," said Paul Wilson, President of the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, based in Wadley, Alabama. "His background and heart is a perfect fit for our thriving charity."

"I want 'Servant' to be the term that describes me best," said Craig. "I try to live by the motto 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'" Craig has had years of experience doing just that. He held various senior management positions with different organizations, including an American Airlines Travel Center, The Oklahoma City Philharmonic Box Office, and most recently was Procurement Manager of apparel and footwear for Feed The Children, Inc.

"I heard a speaker tell a story recently about a race that involved special needs children. The whistle blew and the children took off. One of the children fell down halfway through the race. Once the other children saw this, they stopped, turned around and went back to help their fellow competitor. They all finished the race hand in hand. The crowd went wild. Everyone was a winner. This is the team spirit I see at Souls4Souls and I am very excited to be a part of it," Craig said. Soles4Souls was started by long-term footwear executive Wayne Elsey after successful footwear drives for victims of the Asian Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, which netted over 1 million pairs distributed in less than a year. "We are putting together a world class team that clearly have the vision of making a difference in people's lives with the gift of shoes," Elsey said. "Craig is the kind of person who will thrive as our Director of Procurement because he understands our mission and brings a wealth of contacts and experience to our organization." About Soles4SoulsSoles4Souls facilitates the donations of shoes, which will be used to aid the hurting worldwide. Shoe companies, retailers, and individuals can donate footwear (both new and used). Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS and donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. For more information, visit http://www.soles4souls.org/ or call (888) 840-7074.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

New TV Marketing communicating the s4s purpose!

Check out our new TV Commercials on the front page of our website. They clearly communicate the huge impact and difference we are making around the world.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Retail Shoe Stores are responding to Soles4Souls Challenge!

Retail Shoe Stores Are Responding to the Soles4Souls Challenge

Soles4Souls™, the non-profit organization dedicated to providing new and used footwear to needy people around the world, has announced a creative way to get more people to donate their shoes toward a good cause. Soles4Souls is partnering with hundreds of retail locations around the country to offer a "shoe swap" promotion. Customers who bring in a used pair of shoes will receive an incentive from the participating retailer, such as a discount toward a new pair of shoes.

One retailer who recently participated in the promotion was Sole Shoes & Accessories, located in the trendy Edgewood Retail District in Atlanta, Georgia. On Friday, August 25th, Sole ran a 20% discount toward a new pair of shoes for people who brought in a "gently worn" pair of shoes.

Abigail Lignugaris, owner of the popular store, said that her store netted between 100 and 150 pairs of shoes. "We sent out an email blast to our regular customers informing them of the promotion, and we also had many people come back the following day with a pair of shoes because they learned about it after walking in to browse through our store," she said. "It was a great event and the Soles4Souls people were really great to work with."

Paul Wilson, President of Soles4Souls, said that the opportunity for a partnership between retail stores, individuals and Soles4Souls presents a unique way to help people around the world. "There are millions of people around the world who don't own a single pair of shoes, and there are an estimated 1.5 billion pairs of shoes lying around in American closets," he said. "Our goal has always been to get Americans to donate shoes so that someone else's life can be improved, and these in-store promotions are a great way to help people while getting a new pair of shoes at a discount."

Soles4Souls provides an in-store display donation bin, digital images for customer email newsletters, and posters for placement in and around the retail store. The donation bin can be tailored for the retailer to reflect the details of the promotion (i.e. the amount of store credit, a percentage discount, etc).

Wilson said that some retailers are reporting an increase of up to 20% in sales from the previous year while running the shoe swap events. Soles4Souls has the capacity to add hundreds of new retailers who wish to start their own "trade-in" program and is looking for more retail partners who want to help the charity while also increasing their own sales.

The lead time for Soles4Souls to get the materials to the retail store is ten days or less, depending on the location of the retailer and the amount of stores it wishes to include in the promotion.

About Soles4SolesSoles4Souls facilitates the donations of shoes, which will be used to aid the hurting worldwide. Shoe companies, retailers, and individuals can donate footwear (both new and used). Soles4Souls is a 501(C)(3) recognized by the IRS and donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. For more information, visit http://www.soles4souls.org/ or call (888) 840-7074.