Friday, May 30, 2008

New Warehouse in Nashville

Soles4Souls announced today that it has opened another warehouse in Old Hickory, Tennessee (a suburb of Nashville), to give more options to its supporters on where to send shoe donations.

"As our charity expands, we need to give our supporters more options to keep the shipping costs down," said Wayne Elsey, Founder and CEO of Soles4Souls Inc. "Our new warehouse in Old Hickory, Tennessee, is the fourth Soles4Souls facility in the United States, and will serve donors in the Central and Upper Midwest regions of the country," he said.

Shoes donated to Soles4Souls are sorted, cleaned, and packaged in the warehouses before being shrinkwrapped and loaded onto pallets. From there, the shoes are sent to partner organizations in the United States and in over 60 countries around the world to help put shoes on the feet of needy people.

Soles4Souls also recently launched a new website to simplify its message and help draw more traffic that explains the charity's programs.

"The website is a vital information tool and we wanted to clearly communicate our mission through videos, personalized stories, rich images and easy opportunities for everyone to get directly involved," said Elsey. "We have created an easy-to-use Participation Location tool that shows all the local drop-off points where our web visitors can go to donate their shoes," he said.

The Participation Location program works very well for retailers, explained Elsey, as stores who are participating benefit from the increased walk-in traffic and greater visibility in their community as a partner in charitable causes. Retailers interested in signing up for the program can find the sign-up forms on the charity's website, at

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Church in Indiana to 'Step Up'

A shoe drive will be take place June 1st at Cross Lane Community Church in Terre Haute, to benefit Soles4Souls. The church is located at 2204 Lafayette Ave and they will be receiving shoes from 9 AM until 1 PM. Cross Lane will be joining many other churches and businesses across the U.S. on "National Barefoot Day."

"National Barefoot Day" is June 1st and is the kickoff to a week long event with various activities scheduled around the country, which will be known as Barefoot Week. There will be shoe drives, fun runs and walkathons, golf tournaments, retail trade-in events, parties and more. All participants are encouraged to donate at least one pair of new or gently worn shoes.

“We can use the shoes taking up space in your closet to change the world one pair at a time,” CEO and founder Wayne Elsey said. “We need our partners in North America to ‘STEP UP’ and get behind our call for action. It’s one of the most simple yet profound gifts you can make, because it will greatly improve someone’s life in most difficult of times,” he said.

In addition, other people, churches, schools and companies interested in donating to the effort can visit and follow the instructions.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Albertsons Announces Shoe Drive

Albertsons, the popular national grocery chain, has announced that they will be hosting a shoe drive at all San Diego, CA area locations. Residents are asked to clean out their closets and recycle their gently worn shoes.

"Albertsons is passionately committed to serving our neighbors in need," said Charla Giles, area vice president, San Diego. "We are partnering with Soles4Souls for the third year in a row to enable our customers to get into the spirit of giving back to those less fortunate."

The drive will start June 1st and last through the 7th. Shoes can be dropped off at the Albertsons stores in the cities of San Diego and San Diego County, Ramona, Fallbrook, Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Ellsinore, Corona, Sun City and Hemet.

Store in Maryland Collects Shoes for Needy

Camillions, a womens' clothing and accessories store in Hagerstown, MD is partnering with Soles4Souls to collect unused shoes.

Claudia Erickson, owner of Camillions, is asking for donations of new and gently used children's, men's and women's shoes in all sizes. A drop-off box is at the store at 13508 Pennsylvania Ave in Hagerstown through June 1st.

Store manager Ruth Zeber said Erickson became aware of Soles4Souls through Brighton, the main product line Camillions carries. Brighton paired with Soles4Souls last year and Camillions chose to participate this year.

"Claudia decided it was a really worthwhile charitable effort," Zeber said.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Soles4Souls to Partner with K.I.D.S.

Soles4Souls has announced that they will be partnering with Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) to distribute 325,000 pairs of new shoes in five American cities during National Barefoot Week. Soles4Souls has planed a series of nationwide events to be held June 1-7, 2008.

"National Barefoot Day" will take place on Sunday, June 1, with distribution events, walkathons, marathons, benefits, and retail trade-in events across the country. Each year, Barefoot Week will be held during the first week of June. Thousands of churches, civic groups and retailers will act as collection points in the weeks prior to and during Barefoot Week.

"During Barefoot Week we hope to draw attention to the over 300 million children worldwide who have never owned a pair of shoes," said Wayne Elsey, Founder and CEO of Soles4Souls. "Barefoot Week allows Americans to personally participate in a nationwide call to action while reducing the strain on our landfills at the same time."

During this year's Barefoot Week, the charity will donate more than 325,000 pairs of new shoes to needy people in five cities: Miami (June 2), Chicago (June 3), Atlanta (June 4), New Orleans (June 5), and Flagstaff, Arizona (June 6) near the Hopi and Navajo Indian Reservations.

K.I.D.S. will work with local social service agencies in each of these cities to ensure that the shoe distributions are directed to those children most in need. The agencies partner with K.I.D.S. throughout the year to provide new items to children.

"The opportunity to work with Soles4Souls in addressing the needs of children throughout the country is a significant one for Kids in Distressed Situations," said Rick Schaub, K.I.D.S. Chairman. "The five cities that are being targeted have tremendous needs and providing footwear is critical in making their children functional," he said.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Babe's Shoe Drive

Babe's Shoes and Apparel, located in Lakeland FL, is collecting shoes for Soles4Souls. Starting on Friday June 1st, the store will offer a 25 percent discount on shoes to customers who bring in new or gently worn pairs of shoes toward the effort. The store is located at 2537 S. Florida Ave., in Lakeland.

For more information, call 683-6900.

The Non-Profit Times: The Soles4Souls Blog

Blogging From The Top

Ask a techie whether your nonprofit should be blogging and the answer might be, "What are you waiting for?" Ask a nonprofit CEO and the answer could be closer to, "Who's got time?" or "What's the ROI?"

If return on investment (ROI) is the sole measure of success for an endeavor, then a blog might not be for you. However, some nonprofits are turning to blogs to help craft their messages and encourage more active participation with their organizations.

Soles4Souls, a Nashville, Tenn.-based charity that collects and distributes shoes to people who need them, has had a blog since the organization started three years ago. "It's really our means of community," said CEO Wayne Elsey.

Though Soles4Souls gets plenty of media attention, a blog is "our way of being on the 6 o'clock news every day," Elsey said, whether it's reporting about a large donation of shoes received, or a need for donations in response to a disaster. "We get shoes, we give them away. Whether it's a disaster that just happened, whether in Tennessee or overseas, like in Katrina, we just communicate where the need is and where the distribution networks are."While Soles4Souls could update the blog daily, Elsey said it's usually updated three or four times a week. "We really make an effort to do it once a week," he said.

Soles4Souls plans to unveil a redesigned Web site this spring, which will include an expanded blog section where supporters can post their own entries, videos and experiences. The blog will have more of a sense of community, he said, with encouragement to get people plugged in, including more video.

"Honestly, I think it's the way of the future," Elsey said.

Elsey estimates about three or four hours a week is spent either writing for the blog or coming up with ideas for the blog. A blog post could be anything from news about a significant donation, strategic alliance or distribution arrangement. "It's a good way to give credit to people too," Elsey said, such as a 50,000-shoe donation last year from Red Wing Shoes. He recalled one post that was a thank you letter from a man in New Jersey who was the recipient of a donation and later got a job.

Elsey meets for 30 to 60 minutes a week with his publicist to brainstorm ideas for blog posts. When the organization first started a blog, he described it as a funnel "a mile wide and an inch deep." But now the focus is on three areas that it wants to communicate: donations, alliances and distribution.

"The hardest challenge is to tie me down and extract all the information from me," he said. "It's not beneath me, it's an integrate part of our communications mechanism."

Soles4Souls gets about 500,000 hits to its Web site each month, with about 250,000 unique visitors, Elsey said, but did not have statistics immediately available for the blog. Having an updated blog also increases the likelihood of being listed in an Internet search while users also can subscribe directly, by email or RSS feed.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 Nashville

Soles4Souls appears in Jan Duke's blog, the guide to Nashville seen on

If you've got a spare pair of shoes lying around, we've found the coolest way for folks to not only clean out their closets of those unwanted shoes, but also be able to help others at the same time. So next time you begin your annual spring cleaning, make yet another "Clean House" resolution, or think about laying out that pair of new or used shoes at your next yard sale, you might want to keep the Nashville based non-profit Souls4Souls in mind.

Souls4Souls started out simply as one mans idea and vision to help those in need and in less than two years it has turned into a wonderful thriving non-profit organization that has found it's own niche by simply providing those in need with new and used footwear. The founder of Souls4Souls, Wayne Elsey says that their goal is simple "They get shoes and they give shoes" and the simplicity of those words even resonates with school age children as several local schools have begun to hold their own shoe drives in support of Souls4Souls.

Recently, we had the opportunity to see the simplicity of Souls4Souls in action, at one of our local schools, when a single classroom of third graders collected up over 600 pairs of shoes (at last count). The Souls4Souls shoe drive was clearly a win-win project as the children were excited to be able to help make a difference and there's no doubt that the recipients will be just as thrilled. Participating in Souls4Souls is a definitely a great way for anyone, especially the younger generation, to really make a difference in the world in a meaningful yet simple way.

Chiropractor Collects Shoes

A midvalley chiropractor in Colorado is joining the effort to get shoes on the feet of the people who need them the most.

Scott Tesoro of Sopris Chiropractic is collecting new and “gently worn” shoes of all types in a collaboration with Soles4Souls. Sopris Chiropractic will accept shoes though June 6 at its offices on the second flood of the Alpine Bank building in Willits and at 20 N. Fourth St. in Carbondale, CO.

Tesoro said he promotes a “Healthy Foot Month” each spring by offering a free foot, ankle, knee and hip evaluation, and he gives discounts on products and services. He wanted to expand the effort to help the needy with their foot issues and discovered Soles4Souls. The organization specializes on getting shoes to residents in areas hit by natural disasters.

“I just found out that Soles4Souls is making a big push to get shoes to the people of Myanmar devastated by the cyclone,” Tesoro said. “I think this is an important time for people to be informed of this organization and the work they are doing.”

Tesoro urged people to clean out their closets and donate unused shoes that are in good shape, (no smelly sneakers that you used to wear to the gym). New shoes also are accepted.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Merle Norman Boutique announces shoe drive

Merle Norman Boutique in Mexia announced today that it is hosting a shoe drive to benefit Soles4Souls.

During the shoe drive, Merle Norman will be offering a $25.00 off each purchase of a regular priced Brighton shoes to all customers who bring in gently worn pairs of shoes toward the effort.

The shoe drive will begin on May 16th and last through June 1st. Merle Norman Btq. is located at 400 East Milam in Mexia, Texas.

“What a wonderful and simple way our community can help others. I think it is important for us to learn to help those in need and to teach our next generation to do the same.” said Trudy Cain, store owner.

For more information on how you can get involved with this shoe drive and take advantage of the discount toward a new pair of shoes, contact Trudy Cain at 254-562-2582.

Friday, May 09, 2008

'Waste Not-Want Not' Honors Soles4Souls Founder

Waste Not-Want Not, an enterprise of 23rd Street Community Projects, announced that it is presenting its Humanitarian Award of 2008 to Wayne Elsey, the creator and founder Sole4Souls.

The Humanitarian award will be presented during a unique Soles4Souls shoe collection event to be held on June 2nd, 2008 at Eneslow, the Foot Comfort Center of New York, in collaboration with other major footwear vendors such as The Clarks Companies, N.A. and Springboost. All attendees are requested to bring in one or more pairs of gently used or new shoes, for collection and distribution to needy "souls."

Robert S. Schwartz, President of Eneslow stated, "Over the years we have supported many causes and footwear charities. Soles4Souls is so unique and has such a high level of proven support for its mission of putting shoes on all who need them, that we highly support them and their founder Wayne Elsey."

An open invitation is extended to all to attend this special event on Monday, June 2nd 2008, at the Eneslow flagship store located at 470 Park Avenue South @ 32nd Street from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. Admission: a minimum of one pair of gently worn shoes.

Each donor will receive a $10.00 discount coupon for a replacement set of new shoes, plus enable them to purchase raffles tickets that could provide them a free pair of shoes valued up to $475.00.

"I am very pleased to receive this Humanitarian Award from Waste Not-Want Not," stated Wayne Elsey. "I am very thankful for the dedicated staff at Soles4Souls and to the thousands of supporters who have donated to the cause."

Soles4Souls has designated June 1st - 7th, 2008 as National Barefoot Week with a nationwide campaign. Eneslow and corporate sponsors The Clarks Companies, N.A. and Springboost will be part of this special national event benefiting the needy and less fortunate.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Soles4Souls receives 10,885 pairs of Shoes from Vorhees Mall

Soles4Souls received one of the largest shoe donations from a mall in Voorhees, New Jersey. Nearly 11,000 pair of shoes were compiled during the creative shoe drive, which encouraged community members to "Step into the Future" of something new and exciting with the renovation of the mall.

Mall organizers felt it was appropriate to help those hurting worldwide and in need of footwear for their everyday steps. There was also a children's art contest that ran concurrently, and prizes were awarded to the winners.

Some of the companies and schools that participated in making the event a great success were Boscov's, Clementon School, E.T. Hamilton School, Harrington Middle School, Italian Treasures, and IMC Construction.

"The mall's initial goal was to collect 6,000 pairs of shoes for Soles4Souls; with the overwhelming response from the community, we almost doubled the amount of donations," said Lori L. Anzivino, Marketing Director of The Mall at Voorhees Town Center. "We were also able to secure a local trucking company, Wayne Moving & Storage out of West Chester, PA, to donate their time to deliver the shoe donations to the distribution in Concord, VA."

Brighton Collectibles Collecting Shoes Through June 1st

Brighton Collectibles in Coconut Point, FL will collect new or gently-worn shoes through June 1 to donate to Soles4Souls.

Each person who drops off a pair of shoes at a Brighton Collectibles store can enter a drawing for a free pair of Brighton footwear.

Soles4Souls plans to donate new shoes to needy people in five cities: New Orleans, Atlanta, Miami, Detroit, and Taylor, Ariz on Barefoot Day, June 1.

For details about National Barefoot Day, visit or

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Rachel Ray Asks Viewers to Donate Shoes to Soles4Souls

Rachael Ray, celebrated TV talk show host, bestselling cookbook author, and editor-in-chief of her own lifestyle magazine, appealed to her audience on Tuesday to donate shoes to footwear charity Soles4Souls. The plea followed a segment in which one Rachael Ray guest sorted through her massive shoe collection to help benefit the charity.

Rachael Ray knows that most women take their shoe shopping very seriously, but even those who love their heels are probably not as devoted as guest Susan Discorfano-Caiafa.

"My house is overridden by shoes," says the 41-year-old, who admits to having 358 pairs of shoes in her collection.

With the help of Rachael and Gretta Monahan, the famed shoe designer from QVC, Susan was able to sort through her collection and donate a staggering 170 pairs of shoes to Soles4Souls.

Rachael was so impressed by Susan's efforts and the generosity of her audience, which also donated shoes to Soles4Souls, that she has challenged her viewers at home to do the same.

As an added incentive to get involved, people who pledge donations through the show's website ( will be entered to win a new pair of shoes designed by Monahan herself.

"We are thrilled that Rachael Ray asked viewers to donate their shoes to us for distribution to people in need," said Wayne Elsey, Founder and CEO of Soles4Souls. "The shoes donated by Susan, Rachael's audience and viewers will make an enormous difference in the lives of people here in the U.S. and around the world who lack any kind of decent footwear."

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Stephanie Smith Rocking Out, Calling for Shoe Drives

Christian rocker Stephanie Smith is a big supporter of Soles4Souls. She was told about the organization from a friend at her label, Gotee Records. In a recent interview with BREATHEcast, she explained why she wanted to get involved.

"Soles4Souls is basically: get shoes, give shoes. It’s a great way where my audience, high school students, can start serving and ministering, and being involved with helping others," she said. "I spent some time in Mozambique, Africa, and in Guatemala, and Gotee knows that’s a big part of me."

Stephanie wanted to incorporate those experiences she had with the people in developing countries in with her music. With a new album due out later this month and scheduled performances throughout the rest of the year, she is ready to follow her passion for music, youth, and her faith. She plans to let her fans know about Soles4Souls whenever she gets a chance.

"It’s a practical way we can serve without having to leave for 3 weeks," she said. "I can challenge my audience to host a shoe drive. It's just a perfect fit."

Monday, May 05, 2008

Nashville Police Collecting Shoes

In the past couple of months, the Metro Nashville Police Department has collected over 2,400 pairs of shoes for Soles4Souls to be distributed to the needy worldwide.

In addition, Sgt. DeLap, the Police Department’s liaison, connected with the Davidson County Sheriff’s Department and got them to participate in the drive as well. Sgt. DeLap and Soles4Souls staff members delivered 12 additional collection bins to the six Davidson County Sheriff's offices spread throughout the greater Nashville Davidson County area.

The show of support from the Nashville Law Enforcement community has been huge and has helped contribute to our mission of “Changing the World One Pair at a Time."

Sous le Lit shoes and accessories host shoe drive

Sous le Lit shoes and accessories announced today that it is hosting a shoe drive to benefit Soles4Souls. During the shoe drive, Sous le Lit will be offering a 10% discount to all customers who bring in gently worn pairs of shoes toward the effort.

The shoe drive began on May 1, 2008 and will end on May 31, 2008. Sous le Lit is located at 2340 West Main St., in Historical Downtown Littleton, CO.

"We are delighted to help support Soles4Souls in their effort to supply shoes to people who need them. We applaud them on this important project." said Judy Bowers, Sous le Lit.

"We are thrilled that Sous le lit is acting on our behalf to spread joy to people, both here in the United States and around the world," said Wayne Elsey, Founder of Soles4Souls. "It is only because of proactive retail stores, such as Sous le Lit shoes and accessories, that we are able to accomplish our goal of getting shoes on the feet of people who need them most."

For more information, visit