Friday, September 05, 2008

Shoes Set to be Sent to Hurricane Victims

Workers and volunteers of Soles4Souls are stockpiling shoes to be ready for delivery to victims of the upcoming hurricanes. There are three trucks ready to roll out to the affected areas.

Hurricane Hanna has already caused more than 60 deaths and massive flooding in Haiti, and weather forecasters anticipate the storm will roll into Southeastern U.S. by late Friday or early Saturday.

CNN reported that Hurricane Gustav killed 79 people in Haiti last week.

"We are hoping that Hanna will slow down or move away from the U.S. mainland, but in case it moves ashore we have to be ready with shoe donations so people can rebuild their communities," said Wayne Elsey, Founder and CEO of Soles4Souls Inc. "We are especially keeping a wary eye on Hurricane Ike, which forecasters are calling a 'monster' storm. We believe it's important to give aid to the poor people in the Caribbean as well as Americans affected by these hurricanes," he said.

Hurricane Ike is currently a Category 4 Hurricane and is expected to hit the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands before taking aim at Florida or the Carolinas by early next week, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Elsey said that they have readied 50,000 pairs of shoes so far and are looking for footwear companies and retailers to donate excess inventory or returns so that they will have enough for the demand.

Those interested in giving shoes or donating cash to benefit victims of the hurricanes can join Soles4Souls by visiting http://www.giveshoes.org or calling 615-391-5723.

"We hope that we won't have to donate all the shoes in our inventory, but we need to be ready for whatever comes," Elsey said. "Along with other emergency supplies, a pair of new shoes or boots goes a long way to helping people get back on their feet and piece their lives back together. We need all our partners and donors to join us in our mission to help those affected by these storms," he said.

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