Thursday, October 25, 2007

Soles4Souls Sending 50,000 Pairs of Shoes to Victims of California Wildfires

Soles4Souls is sending more than 50,000 pairs of new shoes to victims of the devastating Southern California fires. More than 500,000 people have been forced from their homes and over 1,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed.

"You can't watch the news reports on this tragedy without being affected by it," said Wayne Elsey, founder of Soles4Souls. "Some people might think that everyone in Southern California is rich and can replace anything they've lost with an easy insurance claim, but that's just not true. Not everyone lives in Beverly Hills -- there are hundreds of thousands of middle and working class people who have been evacuated, and many of them don't have a safety net of any kind. They can't quickly return to their homes because they were renters or lived in trailer parks and don't have the security that many homeowners do," he said.

Elsey said that the shoe charity is coordinating the effort and partnering with several other relief organizations and government agencies to ensure the delivery process remains smooth and people who need the shoes receive them.

"We are working with several other relief organizations, including Operation Compassion, which sent three trucks from Birmingham today," Elsey said. "They will be arriving in the affected areas on Monday, October 29. We are extremely grateful for their help in this effort and invite everyone to donate their shoes or a few dollars to help us ship more shoes out there."

Dave Lorency, President of Operation Compassion, an international relief agency based in Cleveland, Tennessee, said that Soles4Souls was filling an important need for victims of the fires.

"Getting a new pair of shoes will be a big relief to a lot of these folks," he said. "We will be arriving on Monday with our truckloads of shoes and dropping them off in areas like Temecula, and Poway, and rural San Diego County," Lorency said.

Lorency said that people could help most by donating shoes and cash to Soles4Souls so that his organization could continue to deliver free shoes to people in need around the world.

"We work in places all over the world, like Romania and Indonesia, and when something like this happens in our own country, it's important that we step up and help those people with the same amount of compassion," he said. "Soles4Souls is an invaluable resource for people all over the world, including right here in the U.S."

No comments: