Thursday, December 20, 2007

etown Honors Founder of Soles4Souls with e-chievement award

etown, the popular national radio show that mixes live music and conversation (now in its 17th season), is proud to announce a recent winner of its coveted e-chievement award: Wayne Elsey, founder of Souls4Souls.

The e-chievement award is a listener-nominated honor given to individuals who are working hard to make a positive difference in their communities and beyond. Mr. Elsey was interviewed by phone at an evening taping of the etown radio show at The Boulder Theater. The taping also featured popular musical guests Matt Nathanson and Ian Ball.

“Wayne has been working tirelessly to improve the lives and safety of people impacted by hardship and disaster all around the world. He has used his expertise to selflessly aid those in need,” said Helen Forster, etown’s executive producer and co-host. “He’s a true hero--the kind that etown recognizes and rewards each week with the e-chievement award.”

The etown broadcast featuring the interview with Wayne Elsey will air from January 16-22, 2008 across North America and around the world via over 240 radio stations and satellite broadcast. In Nashville, Tennessee, the show will air Tuesday January 22, 2008, at 11pm on WRLT-FM 100.1 FM (For a complete list of all stations and show days and broadcast times, see

etown was founded in 1991 and is a nationally-syndicated radio show heard 52 weeks a year on over 240 public, community and commercial stations across North America, via satellite broadcast, and via podcast. etown is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 corporation whose mission is to educate, entertain and inspire a diverse audience, through music and conversation, to create a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable world. Every etown show is taped in front of a live audience, and features performances from many of today’s top musical artists as well as thought-provoking interviews and the presentation of the e-chievement award recognizing everyday people who have made a difference in their community or beyond. Founders Nick Forster, of the legendary bluegrass band Hot Rize fame, and his wife, singer/actress Helen Forster host the show.

Soles4Souls on Commercial Appeal

Soles4Souls has been featured on, the information source for residents in Memphis, TN.

Campbell Clinic Orthopaedics, Snells Orthotics and Prosthetics, Reebok and Red Wing Shoes partnered with two national organizations, "Soles4Souls" and "Our Hearts to Your Soles," to provide homeless Memphians with foot care and new, properly fitting shoes.

Dr. David Richardson, Dr. Greer Richardson and Dr. Cameron Knight spent a day at Memphis Union Mission providing foot exams, foot care and hygiene.

Most of the 140 homeless and uninsured people were able to be treated on site, but some were taken to an emergency room.

Sammie Wicks of Snells Orthotics and Prosthetics fit each person for the proper size and type of shoe.

Each was given a pair of either tennis shoes, donated by Reebok, or work boots, donated by Red Wing Shoes.

Clicking for Shoes

Helping people get the footwear they need can be as easy as a click of the mouse.

Dow Footwear Solutions announced Saturday that it would donate a pair of shoes to Soles4Souls every time 20 clicks were registered on an e-card distributed by the business.

"We chose to support Soles4Souls because we wanted to make a real contribution as a global corporate citizen that is in line with the close relationship and rapport that we have built up with the footwear industry," Dow Footwear Solutions General Manager Tony Frencham said. "I would encourage our customers, partners and internal colleagues to be part of this campaign, and make this season's holiday special."

Dow Footwear Solutions provides products and material science capabilities to the footwear industry, enabling its customers to offer footwear with improved comfort, durability and lasting value.

Chris Carmichael, Soles4Souls director of communications, said the business committed to $6,000 in donations, with each dollar representing about one shoe to be shipped to those in need.

"This is definitely making an impact," he said. "Ask any of those 6,000 people who are getting new shoes what it means to them."

For many receiving the footwear, it is their only pair of sandals or shoes, which can improve their health and sometimes allow them to gain employment, Carmichael said.

It erases the stigma of poverty," he said. "It eliminates burns, scrapes and puncture wounds ... It's just another way to help on a basic level."

Soles4Souls has seen great success in getting the footwear industry involved in donating new shoes, and has begun to collect used shoes as well.

"We just crossed the three million pair mark since our inception, which was right after the Asian tsunami," Carmichael said.

Click here for the Dow Christmas Card!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Soles4Souls Partners with Race With Purpose

Soles4Souls and Race with Purpose is providing running shoes to students in New York City public school track and fitness programs. More than 150 students from KIPP AMP Academy in Brooklyn, Bethgate High School, and Louis Brandeis High School will receive new running shoes on December 17th and 18th in an effort to change the lives of student athletes.

The shoes are going to students participating in under-funded fitness and running programs. Many of these students’ families do not have the financial means to provide running shoes for their children.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Race with Purpose this holiday season,” said Wayne Elsey, founder and CEO of Soles4Souls. “This donation will allow these student athletes to improve physically and emotionally. Providing footwear to those in need within the United States has been and will continue to be a priority for Soles4Souls.”

Race with Purpose provides opportunities to combine passion for community service with athletic performance. Race with Purpose offers adult athletes of all abilities the chance to successfully train for and complete goal races while raising crucial funds for youth-wellness causes. Through their participation, team members often have life-changing experiences of their own, while changing the lives of thousands of children.

Race with Purpose is an adult endurance-sports training program whose members raise money for youth-wellness charities. Team members train for and compete in goal races, such as marathons, while raising crucial donations for nonprofit organizations that are most successful in helping disadvantaged children lead healthy, active lives. For more information about Race with Purpose, visit

Sole-full store gets new home

A star-studded celebration marked the recent opening of Johnston & Murphy, an upscale men’s footwear and accessories brand and retail store at the Hill Center. The event —an evening of shopping, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and music — was hosted by broadcaster Mike Keith, “the Voice of The Titans.”

Titans’ linebacker Keith Bulluck was on hand to mingle with guests and sign autographs, and a portion of the party’s proceeds from sales went to the Keith Bulluck Believe and Achieve Foundation. The football player’s eponymous organization raises money to aid foster care groups in middle Tennessee and New York. Johnson & Murphy also donated shoes to Soles4Souls, a nonprofit that collects shoes to give to people in need, in honor of Bulluck.

After years at a much smaller location at The Mall at Green Hills, Johnston & Murphy’s new 2,496 square-foot location has allowed it to include a full range of products including footwear, apparel, outerwear, luggage, small leather goods and other accessories.

Student Athletes Receive Running Shoes

To everyone involved with Soles4Souls and Race with Purpose, I am writing to express my great appreciation and gratitude for the sneakers that was provided for my student-athletes. I am a new teacher, coach and athletic director at a new school here in the South Bronx. At Validus Preparatory Academy, where I am the Fitness Teacher, we focus on the health and fitness of our students. We are trying to encourage our students to find enjoyment in their own well-being and to engage in a physically active lifestyle.

The students on the cross country team were the first varsity student athletes to compete in NYC's Public School Athletic League. These students built a cross country team from scratch. They made a commitment to the team, set goals and they ran their hearts out nearly everyday of the week for 3 months. The team grew in numbers, fans and dreams as we raced each Saturday in Van Cortlandt Park, rain or shine. These kids earned the right to call themselves long distance runners. I am very proud and thankful for their commitment.

Many of these young runners started practice every day in a pair of old basketball sneakers or other unsuitable shoes. I encouraged them to try to find affordable upgrades, but it wasn't that simple. Thanks to your gift of shoes, you have helped them dedicate themselves to achieving their goals.

We will keep you posted as they participate in their first Indoor Track season this winter. They are excited to see what they can do with new sneakers on their feet and more miles under their belts. I also want to send a special thanks to Dave Edwards for being so kind and helpful in his coordination of the donation. He did a great job in presenting the sneakers and was even willing to get out there and race my kids! Thank you Sole4Souls and Race with Purpose! Keep up the great work!

Erica Crane

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

BMDMI - Mission to Honduras

Dear Soles4Souls,

On behalf of the 67 team members who traveled to Intibucca, Honduras in July 2007, I would like to thank you for your generous support of our mission. Thanks to your donation, over 3500 people, many of whom came to us bare-footed, were fitted with shoes. To see the joy on the face of a mother as her children squealed with delight to have a new pair of shoes, or to see the men able to go back into the fields with decent protection for their feet let us see how something so simple and basic as a pair of shoes could make such a profound difference in someone's life. The traditional services we have provided are Medical (to include pharmaceutical and eyeglasses), Dental and Veterinary. This year, thanks to the help of Soles4Souls we were able to distribute shoes for the first time.

Our "Shoe Team" consisted of four adults, six teenagers and three Honduran interpreters. The people of this area were desperate for shoes, so they patiently waited in line for hours, as the team worked to measure their feet and distribute the correct shoes. Many of the Honduran people had feet that were deformed and had bunions from years of wearing shoes that were too small. The Honduran people are small and have small feet, so by the second day we ran out of many of the smaller sizes, but they gladly took larger shoes in order to have something to protect their feet.

The effect of the donated shoes in incalculable. Men and women could safely work to provide for their families. Children could run and play safely. The incidence of parasites and disease, which often enters through the feet, has undoubtedly been greatly reduced. These shoes may ultimately have as much effect in improving the lives of the people of Intibucca as our other ministries.

In closing, on behalf of the Baptist Medical and Dental Mission international, the DeFidder Field Team of BMDMI, and the people of Intibucca, Honduras, I want to thank you for your kind and generous donation of shoes. The benefits of these shoes cannot be overstated. We intend to make shoes a continuing part of our program. We hope that Soles4Souls will be able to support us in our 2008 mission.


Rod Pollard
DeFidder Field Team Captain
Baptist Medical and Dental Mission International

Monday, December 17, 2007

Store Collecting Shoes for Needy

The Foot Performance Center in Rochester NY is hosting a shoe drive through Thursday, December 2oth to benefit Soles4Souls. The store is a Henrietta shoe and orthotics retailer that provides foot care for every walk of life.

Customers who bring in slightly used shoes for donation will receive a $10 discount toward a shoe purchase. Foot Performance Center is at 3385 Brighton-Henrietta Town Line Road.

For more information, call (585) 473-5950.

Student Shoe Collectors on

Students from Ravenscroft in Raleigh are helping others throughout the world with the gift of shoes. Third graders Ryan Gerard and Allison Arber know the importance of wearing shoes.

"People who don't have shoes could get splinters in their feet," Arber said.

So the kids launched a shoe drive at their school for the charity Soles4Souls. On the very first day students filled the bin with gently worn shoes.

"It makes me feel really good. It's helping people and I like to help people," Gerard said.

The tsunami's devastation in southeast Asia sparked a former shoe company executive to establish the first shoe drive for the charity Souls4Soles. Donors shipped 250,000 shoes to disaster victims. Hurricane Katrina followed and another outpouring of support with 750,000 pair of shoes. Most recently, 50,000 soles to help people devastated by California's wildfires.

The footwear industry supports the charity as well as grassroots efforts from schools like Ravenscroft. Adults and children brought in bags of new shoes or gently used shoes.
They filled bin after bin for 11 days.

"I thought we'd only get 100 pairs, but we are over that," Arber said.

Gerard and Arber can be proud. Their school donated 500 pairs of shoes. Now the shoes go to a New Balance store off Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh where the owners will foot the shipping bill to the charity’s main warehouse in Alabama. Owner Mark Allard said he'll take and ship even more donations through the end of the year.

“One and a half billion pairs of shoes are in Americans closets right now unused sitting there out of style, don't fit. People's unwanted pairs are sometimes some people's only pair or first pair of shoes in the world," Allard said.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Shoes Collected at Titans Game

Tennessee Titans Fans attending last Sunday's game vs the Houston Texans donated over 3,000 pairs of shoes to Soles4Souls. 40 volunteers at 6 collection points were used during a 4-hour duration at LP field. An equal number of the shoes collected will stay in the middle Tennessee area.

“Soles4Souls would like to thank the kind and giving people of Middle Tennessee for supplying such a simple gift, the gift of shoes," stated David Graben, the manager of events at Soles4Souls. "We have currently distributed over 4,500 pairs of shoes to the Nashville Men’s and Women’s Rescue Missions, Elementary Schools, YWCA and the TN School for the Blind in the past six months. This with numerous smaller individual distributions will continue to be a key focus of our organization, helping people in our hometown of Nashville Tennessee, as well as around the world.”

There was tremendous feedback from the Titans organization regarding the shoe collection. Soles4Souls and The Titans plan to make this an annual event at LP Field and be on the ticket for the 2008/2009 season.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

RackedWire: Piperlime's Charity Shoe In

Seen on

When the holiday season rolls around people think about giving: buying gifts for their friends and family and donating money, time, food or clothing to charities. Shoe website Piperlime is having a little fun with its charity effort this year. For the next week, the company is rolling gigantic silver high heels throughout the city. They're drop boxes where people can deposit gently-used shoes, which will then be given to Soles4Souls.

Girl About Town helps Soles4Souls

Carol Han, the stylish gal known as The Girl About Town donated shoes at the Piperlime and Soles4Souls stiletto in downtown New York. Han is a fashion blogger for and she found some fashion benefits to the "giving season".

Tis' the Season

By Carol Han

I got a call from PR pal Stephanie about a charity called Soles4Souls that (fab online shoe store) is participating in. Basically, you donate "gently used" pairs of shoes that you don’t need anymore, and not only will you be helping a person in need, Piperlime will give an additional $1 for every pair to the program. Naturally, the accessories closet immediately got cleaned and I ran down to the shoe station to do my part.

And the best part? This is going on for four more days; so if you're in NY, get thee to a station! Deets below:

12/6 and 12/7 at Grand Central Terminal (Park Ave at 42nd) from 8-6.

12/10 and 12/11 at the Flatiron Building (5th Ave at 23rd Street) from 8-6.

Titans Keith Bulluck named Walter Payton Man of the Year

The Tennessee Titans announced today that linebacker Keith Bulluck has been named the 2007 Titans Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner. This is Bulluck’s second consecutive year to garner the award as he was selected by a majority vote from his teammates, Titans staff, members of the news media and local non-profit and community executives for his dedicated community service.

“I am pleased that Keith is being recognized for more than he does on the field," said Coach Jeff Fisher. "He is a terrific player and is committed to making our community a better place.”

The Keith Bulluck Believe & Achieve Foundation raises thousands of dollars on an annual basis to benefit children in foster care as well as underprivileged children. He also recently hosted a VIP reception at Johnston and Murphy where proceeds from this event benefited his foundation as well as Soles4Souls. Both organizations are non profit and are committed to making a difference in the lives of others.

For the younger kids, Bulluck hosts an annual “Back to School” Book Bag Party to promote the importance of education and being prepared for school. He invited foster children from the Department of Children Services to a 2007 Titans training camp visit, where they were able to watch practice, get autographs and receive book bags and school supplies for the upcoming school year. Bulluck donated 300 book bags filled with school supplies and also donated 600 pairs of shoes through Soles4Souls to these children in DCS custody.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

S4S in NY Daily News

Put your best foot forward. Piperlime and Soles4Souls present "Give Shoes Be Merry" to help the less fortunate. Donate gently used shoes at drop boxes in Grand Central, Mars 2112 lounge and the Flatiron District (on 23rd St. and Fifth Ave.) and receive a $15 gift certificate to Piperlime. 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; free admission. Visit for more information.