Thursday, September 11, 2008

Shoe Carnival, Soles4Souls Team up to Help Needy

Here is a recent article in the Evansville Business Journal highlighting the partnership between Shoe Carnival and Soles4Souls to raise money and receive footwear for hurricane victims:

After learning of the destruction inflicted by the tsunami that struck Southeast Asia in 2004, a thought entered Wayne Elsey’s head:

Many of the victims probably don’t have shoes.

It was that consideration that led Elsey, who had worked for years selling shoes wholesale, to found Soles4Souls that same year. Since then the charity, based in Nashville, Tenn., has given away 3.4 million pairs of shoes to the needy.

Elsey came to Evansville today to promote a campaign begun with Shoe Carnival. In it, customers can give a needy child a pair of shoes by giving $2 to any of Shoe Carnival’s 300 stores.

In return, customers’ names will be written on small pieces of paper (pictured above), cut to look like shoes, and attached to the stores’ window. Soles4Souls will use the $2 donation to buy the shoes it distributes in 35 U.S. states and 50 countries. The models include flip flops, tennis shoes and imitations of the popular Crocs brand.

Customers can also give away used pairs of shoes. In return, they will receive a $5 coupon which can be redeemed at Shoe Carnival stores.

Elsey said Soles4Souls gives away a pair of shoes every 23 seconds. The victims of Hurricane Katrina are among those who have been much benefited by Soles4Souls’ campaigns.

“We are still working down there,” he said. “There are still a lot of people hurting down there.”
Todd Beurman, Shoe Carnival senior vice president of marketing, said the campaign began Sept. 3 and will last until Sept. 24. The goal, he said, is to raise $140,000.

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