Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Salem (MA) Store Collects Shoes for Soles4Souls

Store's shoe collection good for the sole

By Cate Lecuyer
staff writer, The Salem News

BEVERLY — Most people have extra sneakers lying around.

And most people throw them out when they clean out their closets, said Wes Lassen, manager of New England Running Company.

However, he hopes that will change. The business recently began collecting gently worn shoes. People can drop them off in a bin, and they'll go to charity.

"It's giving it to needy kids all over the world," Lassen said.

Over the years, many customers have asked if the business recycles shoes, so they decided to start, he said.

New England Running Company has partnered with Soles4Souls, a Tennessee nonprofit that donates more than 4 million pairs of shoes a year to underprivileged people in more than 70 countries.

Although New England Running specializes in sneakers, Soles4Souls welcomes any kind of shoes, from women's dress to hiking boots, said Chris Carmichael, communications director for the nonprofit. Children's athletics are in particularly high demand.

"Kids grow out of shoes so fast, and it's something we're always in need of," Carmichael said.

The organization formed after the 2004 tsunami that devastated coastal areas around the Indian Ocean and killed more than 200,000 people. Carmichael said the donations now go many different people, including victims of natural disasters, those living in extreme poverty, and women overcoming domestic violence.

"It's one of the most simple yet profound gifts you can make, because it will greatly improve someone's life in the most difficult of times," said founder and CEO Wayne Elsey.

Carmichael said the donations should be in good shape.

"The general rule of thumb is anything you would wear yourself," he said. But if you think they belong in the trash, send them anyway. If they're unusable, instead of throwing them out, the nonprofit grinds them up into a soft rubber and asphalt material that's used to surface playgrounds and running tracks.

Lassen estimates New England Running has collected close to 200 shoes so far and is hoping for more.

"We've filled that bin up three times in the last three weeks," he said. "The word is spreading."

Staff writer Cate Lecuyer can be reached at clecuyer@salem

Monday, February 23, 2009

Williamsville North High School (NY) Environmental Science Class Collecting Shoes for Soles4Souls

Williamsville residents in upstate NY are invited to drop off their gently-worn shoes to the Environmental Science Class at Williamsville North High School. So far, the students have collected over 400 pairs of shoes, which will be used to benefit needy people worldwide.

You are invited to personally drop off your shoes from now until March 9, 2009. Contact Kim Preshoff or Rick Bubar at 716-626-8374 for more information.

Williamsville North High School is located at:

1595 Hopkins Road
Williamsville, NY 14221

Carlsbad (CA) Woman Organizes Shoe Drive for the Needy

Act of charity was a Christmas present for husband


by Stacy Brandt

As a Christmas gift to her husband, a local woman hopes to collect at least 2,500 shoes next month to give to needy people.

Liz Jones, a Carlsbad resident, said she came up with the idea after hearing about another woman who, more than 30 years ago, was inspired to donate to charity each year as a Christmas present to her husband, who didn't agree with the commercialization of the holiday.

Jones is working with local public agencies, businesses and schools to bring in as many shoes as possible, she said.

Her husband, Phillip, said he was thrilled with the work his wife is doing in his honor.

He said that as a child, he didn't get shoes often and cherished every pair that he got.

"I didn't grown up in a wealthy family," Phillip Jones said. "When I got a new pair of shoes, it was a big deal. It was a really big deal."

Now, he has amassed quite a collection ---- more than 50 pairs, he figured. He said he plans to donate about half of those to his wife's shoe drive, which will run Feb. 23-27.

Carlsbad Unified School District campuses will have donation boxes set up next week for children and parents to donate. Half of the shoes collected will go to people in San Diego County, while the other half will go to the Soles4Souls nonprofit group, which will distribute them to needy people across the globe.

Superintendent John Roach said he thought the shoe drive was a good idea.

"People in our community probably have a bunch of boxes of shoes in their closet," he said. "It's that time of year ---- spring cleaning ---- and there are people all over the world who could probably use those shoes."

The drive will also remind students of the importance of charity and could spur more philanthropy, Roach said.

"It just shows people that it doesn't take a lot to do some good for a lot of people," he said.

Jones said she hopes to make the shoe drive an annual event that will grow each year.

A list of drop-off locations and more information is available online at Also on the Web site is the original story that inspired Jones, "For the Man Who Hated Christmas," which was published in Woman's Day magazine in 1982.

Contact staff writer Stacy Brandt at (760) 901-4009 or

Friday, February 20, 2009

South Florida homeless to get 10,000 pairs of shoes

Soles4Souls will be sending new shoes for the feet of 10,000 homeless people in the Miami area.

Soles4Souls announced today that it's partnering with the Red Wing shoe company, of Minnesota, and the Hollywood-based watch company, Invicta, to distribute the footwear beginning next week.

Distribution for the first 1,000 pairs of shoes will take place at Miami's Camillus House on Tuesday.

Soles4Souls collected, refurbished and distributed in Haiti an estimated 2,000 to 4,000 shoes that were found scattered along the southbound lanes of the Palmetto Expressway near Bird Road in the early morning hours of Jan. 2.

Authorities suspect they fell off a truck that didn't stick around.

"Soles4Souls is not only dedicated to keeping useable footwear out of our landfills, but also in putting shoes on the feet of needy people around the world," said Wayne Elsey, the organization's founder and CEO.

Elsey said Soles4Souls asked some of its corporate partners to help give back to the Miami community. Red Wing and Invicta "stepped up to the plate in a huge way," he said.

UMC collecting shoes for Soles4Souls at Games

The University of Minnesota, Crookston Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) is hosting Soles4Soles at this Saturday’s basketball game (Feb 21st) with St. Cloud State. Fans are encouraged to bring their used/gently worn shoes to donate to Soles4Soles. Fans that bring a pair of shoes will get into the games for free! The UMC women and men play St. Cloud State at 2 & 4 p.m.

UMC will also be hosting the WBCA “Pink Zone” Night. This is a promotion with the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) to raise breast cancer awareness. All cancer survivors will get into the game free, everyone wearing pink will get into a reduced price and Golden Eagle athletes will be selling pink t-shirts with the M-Crookston logo on them for $5.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Current Situation in Reynosa, Mexico

Dear Friends,

As many of you know, we actively support many children and families living in Reynosa, Mexico. If you have donated shoes to us in the past year, it's a safe bet that many ended up in the hands of the little kids living in the ramshackle housing complexes inside the city. (Reynosa lies immediately south of the U.S border, near McAllen, Texas.)

These families, and the children in particular, have struck a chord with us. You've never seen such wide smiles as when they receive a new pair of shoes -- it's almost as if we gave them a box containing pure gold instead of a decent pair of shoes.

It's no secret that violence -- due to the rapid escalation of an ongoing drug war -- has wracked Mexico recently. This past Tuesday (February 17), at least six people were killed and a number of police officers were wounded in an open gun battle in the middle of the city, including a prolonged gun fight around an elementary school.

In 2008, Mexico endured more than 6,000 drug-related homicides; 2009 is on pace to be much worse. We feel that all the aid organizations that lend much-needed support to our Mexican neighbors should step up their donations in light of the horrible circumstances in the region. We certainly will.

This is considered "real life" immediately south of our own border, but it might as well be across the world in the more familiar war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan.

We will not stop supporting our friends in Reynosa, despite the obvious dangers. We want you to be aware of where your donations go so you can clearly see, full circle, how your support of Soles4Souls and other charities truly impacts those who aren't fortunate enough to live a couple miles to the north.

We all have much to be thankful for, and the team at Soles4Souls thanks you for your continued support of our programs.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

First Baptist Church of Oronogo in Missouri Hosting Shoe Drive During March

"Mile in Their Shoes" Drive, First Baptist Church of Oronogo, Missouri

Over three million children and one billion adults are walking this earth without adequate foot coverings.

People have resorted to searching for necessary items to live on such as food or clothing, barefoot, in the landfills.  Some call that their place of employment. Imagine for a moment what it would be like to live the way you do, work where you work, and play as you play day in and day out with inadequate protection on your feet.  Think about all the medical issues that can happen such as cuts, bruises, an infection, frostbite, and burns; you get the point. 

Together, we can help. Soles4Souls is a non-profit organization whose mission is Changing the World – One Pair at a Time™. First Baptist Church of Oronogo will be collaborating with Soles4Souls and the local community to provide shoes to people in need. They will go to those in need in our own communities, as well as, to the rest of the world.

So, let's clean out our closets and donate our gently worn or new shoes at the location(s) below. Any monetary donations will be used to cover shipping and to purchase new shoes.

All sizes are accepted and much appreciated.

Contact: Tammy Virgin, 417-499-6360 or

Dates: Entire month of March 2009

Drop off site:

First Baptist Church of Oronogo
10040 County Lane 230 
(corner of MM & 96 Hwys)
Oronogo, MO 64855
Get info at
or visit

Think Outside the Recycling Bin


As the winter season comes to an end and Floridians begin to think about spring cleaning, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, or DEP, encourages residents to apply the 3 Rs -- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle -- and discover ways to recycle items that may not normally be considered recycle-friendly.

"We all understand the importance of recycling," said Mary Jean Yon, Director of DEP's Division of Waste Management. "Reducing waste can also help keep our landfills from filling up. Most people think of recycling newspapers, cans and bottles, but your closets, desks and drawers are filled with items that can also be recycled."

Tips and resources for practicing the 3 Rs while de-cluttering your home or office:

Athletic shoes - Local running clubs often collect athletic shoes for charitable causes such as homeless shelters and women's refuge houses. Soles4Souls collects gently worn shoes of all kinds and donates them to those in need (

University of Minnesota / Crookston Holding Shoe Drive for Soles4Souls

[from the Golden Eagles' Website]

On Saturday, (February 21) The University of Minnesota, Crookston Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) is hosting a Soles4Soles shoe drive during the basketball game with St. Cloud State. Fans are encouraged to bring their new or gently worn shoes to donate to Soles4Soles. Fans that bring a pair of shoes will get into the games for free.

Soles4Souls ships the shoes directly to people in need, domestically and internationally. Soles4Souls was founded in 2004 by Wayne Elsey, who felt compelled to do something after seeing a picture of a single shoe washed up on the beach, while watching the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, according to the Web site,

Elsey contacted friends in the shoe industry and managed to arrange the donation of a quarter of a million shoes to survivors of the tsunami, according to the Web site. A year later, after Hurricane Katrina hit, Elsey called his friends again and gathered a million pairs of shoes for survivors. Because of the success of his campaign, Elsey decided to start a non-profit organization to help shoeless people around the world. His motto is "changing the world one pair at a time." Soles4Souls has given away more than three million pairs of shoes in 45 states and 61 countries through donations from shoe companies, retailers, churches and schools.

For more information, visit the Golden Eagle Athletics website at

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Soles4Souls 4 Jesse Knowles

14-year-old with Cancer Inspires Footwear Drive

C&L Recycling in Clarksville, Tennessee, Join Forces with Soles4Souls to Collect Shoes and Funds

Jesse Knowles is a fighter. Despite having an extremely rare form of cancer -- brain tumor cancer -- Jesse remains incredibly upbeat and is inspiring hundreds of people with his story. One of the unique ways people are getting behind Jesse is with a footwear drive to benefit needy people around the world, while raising funds for his battle against cancer at the same time.

C&L Recycling Center in Clarksville has partnered with Soles4Souls, the international footwear charity dedicated to providing free footwear to people in need around the world. While the collected shoes will go to needy people in the U.S. and around the world, all funds collected during the drive will be deposited into a fund to help Jesse and his family pay his medical bills.

"Jesse is an incredible inspiration to all of us," said Wayne Elsey, Founder and CEO of Soles4Souls. "His amazing faith in God and his tenacity in facing this situation is remarkable, and we applaud his courage. We want to thank C&L Recycling for hosting this shoe drive and fundraiser and invite all of our friends to get involved," he said.

C&L Recycling Inc. is located at 1515 C Vista Lane, Clarksville TN 37043. Visitors are encouraged to bring gently worn shoes to the center and donate a few dollars that will be deposited into a fund for Jesse Knowles. To read Jesse's story, visit

Monday, February 16, 2009

Brown Shoes (retailer in Upper Arlington) hosting Shoe Drive Through February

[from wire reports, posted at Columbus News]

Brown Steps Forward to Serve as Shoe Donation Place, Too
The retail footwear store will collect shoes through the end of February as part of a worldwide mission.


Anyone who has ever tiptoed across gravel-covered ground -- or hot-footed it through sun-baked sand -- knows that going without shoes is often no fun.

The overwhelming problem, however, is not that occasionally people take an ill-advised jaunt across inhospitable terrain. Worldwide, there are millions of people who do not have an option.

That is why Brown Shoes Inc., a locally owned shoe store in Upper Arlington for the past 45 years, is holding a shoe collection drive throughout February.

Once the shoes are collected, said Brown Shoes owner Jeff Brown, they will be given to Nashville-based Soles4Souls. It's an organization that refurbishes used shoes and donates them to those in need.

"We decided we would partner up with them and open our doors to everybody who wants to get some shoes to us ... and we'll get them down to Nashville to Soles4Souls," said Brown.

He will sweeten the pot by giving a $10 discount on a new pair of shoes to anybody who donates.

"People can clean their wardrobes out and if they'd like to get some new shoes, they would save some money," Brown said.

Soles4Souls founder Wayne Elsey said the idea for the organization hit him while he was watching footage of the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami that killed more than 225,000 people in 11 countries bordering the Indian Ocean.

Elsey, who was working in the shoe industry at the time, said he saw a shoe floating among the flood waters on television when the idea struck him.

Since then, Soles4Souls has donated more than 4 million shoes to people in nearly 70 countries worldwide.

"We estimate there are 1.8 billion pairs of shoes sitting in Americans' closets," Elsey said. "What we do is we ask Americans to recycle those shoes in their closets and keep them out of landfills."

He said people might be surprised to hear that 55 percent of the shoes collected go to individuals in need right here in the United States.

"The reality is there are 300 million people around the world that don't have shoes," said Elsey.

While he is proud of the 4 million pairs of shoes already donated, the number is not nearly enough, he said.

"Our goal is to close that gap" between 4 million and 300 million, Elsey said.

Brown said he discovered Soles4Souls at a national convention. While Brown Shoes has been involved in local donations for many years, Brown said he was impressed enough to want to contribute on a larger scale.

"We think their organization is doing a great job for the footwear industry and for people in need," Brown said. "I just thought it would be a good thing to do."

The shoe drive began Feb. 6 and will run through Feb. 28, Brown said.

Shoes can be dropped off at Brown Shoes Inc., 2108 Tremont Center in Upper Arlington.

For more information on Soles4Souls, visit the Web site

"We estimate there are 1.8 billion pairs of shoes sitting in Americans' closets. What we do is we ask Americans to recycle those shoes in their closets and keep them out of landfills."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Shoe drive puts kick into WCC rivalries


Gonzaga faces tough competition with its West Coast Conference rivals this year - off the basketball court. The eight schools are competing against each other in the WCC's first annual service contest to win a pre-game party at the conference tournament in Las Vegas.

Through Feb. 19, anyone can donate a pair of shoes to support charity and help send Gonzaga students to celebrate before the first men's tournament game.

Kennel Club Co-President Kepa Zugazaga is excited about the opportunity.

"We always donate to charities like Relay for Life and Face AIDS, but this will definitely be a way for people to see us helping out. They don't see the donations."

The idea blossomed last fall when students from all WCC schools met in October at the annual Student Athlete Advisory Committee conference and voted to begin a year-long service campaign, said Mike Roden, director of academic support services at Gonzaga.
WCC staff and the SAAC voted unanimously on Soles4Souls, a charity that gives shoes to people in need.

The charity was founded in 2004 during relief efforts to rebuild Southeast Asia from tsunami damages. It houses regional headquarters in Las Vegas and has worked with Orleans Arena in the past, so it was a great fit, said Sarah Arens, WCC's Director of Student Services.

Arens said she is impressed that the students took the initiative.

"The idea really sparked with the student athletes," she said. "It was a perfect match - the students really wanted to do something, and the conference athletic directors had a connection with the city."

Lauren Rochholz said the charity is great because they'll take almost anything.

"Used shoes go internationally, decent ones stay in the States, and really cruddy shoes are recycled to make track or court surfaces," she said. Rochholz is the president of the SAAC at Gonzaga.

All types of donations are welcome, Arens said. She said most of the lightly worn shoes will be donated to at-risk youth in Las Vegas.

The charity is not only a great fit for the location, but also will accomplish a seemingly impossible goal: bringing the eight WCC schools together.

"We spend too much time heckling each other, so it's nice to work together," Zugazaga said.

"It turned into the perfect project," Arens said. "It fits right in with athletics because of the shoes, especially athletic shoes. Lots of students can easily donate an old pair."

In Spokane, donation containers can be found across campus and town. On campus, shoes can be donated in Crosby, Jepson, Rudolf Fitness center, and most dorms. The Runner's Soul and Spokane Racquet Club also have containers.

Gonzaga SAAC members have been working closely with GSBA, the Bulldog Club, and media in Spokane to spread the message, Roden said.

"Friends and family can donate, too. We want this to be a success," he said.

Zugazaga said the contest will be a good opportunity to involve all Kennel Club members and spread the word about WCC involvement.

"We're trying to make it as easy as possible for the students," he said.

Donations can also be made in the McCarthey Athletic Center on February 19th. The contest culminates at the men's basketball game that evening.

The winning school will be recognized at halftime of the women's championship game in Vegas, Arens said. The conference decided on an unofficial goal of 500 pairs of shoes per school, but several schools have already met the number, she said.

As of Tuesday, Pepperdine, Gonzaga, and Loyola Marymount University had the most donations.

The conference will hold a student fan party for the winning team before their respective game at the tournament, Arens said.

"What's great about the contest is that it doesn't just benefit student athletes," Rochholz said. Although the SAAC voted on the contest, the party will be open to the first 200 students of the winning school.

Free pizza will be provided during the pre-game party, and the school's fans will have early access to the Arena.

"There's been a discussion of giveaways, but that hasn't been confirmed," Arens said. "It's our first year, and I've been really impressed with the participation. We can't wait to see everyone in Vegas."

Friday, February 13, 2009

"Stan's Fit For Your Feet" Collecting Shoes in Milwaukee Until Feb 28!

Stan's Fit For Your Feet has long been a tremendous supporter of our cause. We strongly recommend anyone living in the Milwaukee area to visit their stores and buy some new footwear from the experts at Stan's. If you bring in a pair of gently worn shoes (through Feb 28), you will receive $10 off a new pair of shoes.

Jim Sadjak, President of the shoe company, has been interviewed a number of times on local television (see below), and he's a perfect representative of our programs. In the three years Stan's has worked with us, they have collected more than 10,000 pairs of gently worn shoes that we send to needy people around the world. To watch a news report of their work. visit this website.

People can donate shoes from Feb. 1-28 at collection bins at these locations:
• 17155 West Bluemound Road, Brookfield
• 505 West Silver Spring Drive, Glendale
• 7405 West Layton Avenue, Greenfield

Those locations are open:
• Monday-Friday 9:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
• Saturday 9:30-a.m.-5:30 p.m.
• Sunday 12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

Whitinsville (MA) Teenagers Step Up to Help Soles4Souls

[from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette]

Students send shoes where they’re needed
WHITINSVILLE — Two Northbridge High School seniors, Joseph Susienka and Casey Petersen, have teamed up with Soles4Souls, an international charity dedicated to providing free footwear to people in desperate need. They ran a shoe drive in the Northbridge Public School system to raise awareness and collect shoes for Tennessee-based Soles4Souls. Between the school district’s four schools during a two-month campaign, 1,079 pairs of shoes were collected.

“Most of us have lots of shoes we no longer wear,” said Casey in a news release. “According to one estimate, more than one billion pair of shoes lie idle in American closets from coast to coast. In spite of that, there are millions of people both in the United States and around the world in desperate need of footwear.”

The young men completed the campaign as their senior year DECA public relations project. DECA is the only national student organization operating through the nation’s schools to attract young people to careers in marketing, management and entrepreneurship. The two will be presenting their project to a panel of judges drawn from business, education and government at the Massachusetts state competition, which occurs March 5-7 in Boston. The Northbridge High School chapter adviser is faculty member Susan Palmer-Howes.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Adam Gregory, Country Music Star, Hands Out Shoes at the Kansas City Rescue Mission

Adam Gregory, one of country's rising music stars, helped distribute shoes to homeless men in Kansas City during his current tour. This is the first stop in his nationwide tour that features Soles4Souls as his charitable partner.

Watch one of Adam's music videos here!

Read this description of the event from NBC Action News, Kansas City:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Rescue Mission’s chapel looked like a shoe store on Wednesday, as 90 men tried on brand new shoes donated by Soles4Souls, a Nashville nonprofit.

Tattered sandals, worn sneakers and dirty socks were discarded as young and old tried on brand-new Redwing, Irish Setter and other high-quality boots and shoes. Country music singer Adam Gregory helped distribute the shoes in the first stop in his nationwide charity tour.

“This is the first pair of shoes I’ve had that actually fit me,” said a man who wears a size 6-and-a-half shoe.

Members of Gregory’s band, along with Mission volunteers and staff also passed out new white socks to go with the shoes. Shelter staff say the new shoes will give many of the homeless the tools they need to find jobs.


"We are very excited about this campaign between Soles4Souls and rising music star Adam Gregory," said Wayne Elsey, Founder and CEO of Soles4Souls. "Even though he's only 23 years old, he is an amazing talent and also demonstrates his deep commitment to charitable causes and giving back to his fans. We are extremely proud to count him as a friend."

The ten-week tour includes dates in 25 different cities, beginning Jan. 19 and running through March 31, 2009. Gregory will partner with a radio station in each market to provide a unique concert event and singles mixer that targets local listeners.

Upon entry to the event, fans will be provided an opportunity to donate a new or gently worn pair of shoes or make a donation to the Soles4Souls organization. Individuals will then receive a numbered flip-flop and attempt to locate their "sole" mate with the other matching shoe. The evening concludes with a grand prize giveaway and full band performance by Gregory. Proceeds from each night's event will be donated to Soles4Souls.

Arlington (OH) Shoe Store Helping Needy Around the World


Arlington shoe store collecting soles for the needy around world

An Upper Arlington store is collecting shoes for a charity that will distribute them to needy people around the world.

Brown Shoes, 2108 Tremont Center, will offer a $10 discount through Feb. 28 to customers who bring in "gently worn" shoes for Soles4Souls, a nonprofit group based in Nashville, Tenn. The organization has given more than 4 million pairs of shoes to people in 70 countries.

Soles4Souls started after the tsunami in southern Asia in 2004, when founder Wayne Elsey rallied shoe executives to send a quarter-million shoes to affected countries. The charity collects new and used shoes.

"Our thought is that this could help the economy by driving consumers in to buy new shoes and at the same time helping people in need," said Jeff Brown, owner of Brown Shoes.

DUTREY'S, a Cumberland County (PA) Store is Hosting International Shoe Drive

Dutrey’s Shoes of Carlisle is hosting a shoe drive to assist Soles4Souls Inc., an international footwear charity based in Nashville that delivers shoes to needy people around the world. During the shoe drive, Dutrey’s will offer a $5 savings certificate for each pair of gently worn shoes donated and up to $15 towards the purchase of new footwear.

“There are hurting people throughout the world,” said John Dutrey. “Shoes provide protection, comfort and relief. We all have several pairs in our closet that we can share with the less fortunate.”

The shoe drive continues through Feb. 28 at Dutrey’s, 290 E. Pomfret St.

Starting Line Sports in Madison, NJ, holding shoe drive

[from the Madison Eagle]

Gently worn pairs gain discount in shoe drive

MADISON – Now through Saturday, Feb. 28, Starting Line Sports, 67 Main St. in Madison, New Jersey, is hosting a shoe drive to benefit Soles4Souls, an international footwear charity that delivers shoes to needy people around the world.

During the drive, Starting Line Sports is offering a $10 discount to all customers who bring in gently worn pairs of shoes.

“This a great program for all involved,” said Robert Koppenol, owner of Starting Line Sports. “First and foremost, the program provides shoes to people who would otherwise do without. The program also provides an outlet for people to responsibly dispose of their used shoes. We would much prefer to see our used shoes go to people who will use and appreciate them, rather than into a landfill.”

“We are excited that Starting Line Sports is working with us 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 Starting Line Sports, that we are able to accomplish our goal of getting shoes on the feet of people who need them most.”

For information on the shoe drive and the discount toward a new pair of shoes, contact Koppenol at (973) 514-1057 or

Based in Nashville, Tenn., Souls4Souls facilitates the donations of both new and used shoes to needy people worldwide. Soles4Souls has distributed more than four million pairs of shoes. For information, visit

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

STRIDERS in Grandville, MI, is a new drop-of location for Soles4Souls

Striders, a specialty running store in Grandville, Michigan, is a local drop-off point for Soles4Souls. People are urged to drop off "gently worn" shoes at the store during regular business hours.

Striders is a true running specialty store. Our selection of shoes & apparel screams running. Each member of our staff is a runner and has been trained to match the right shoe to your particular foot shape and motion. It just makes sense to have a knowledgeable runner helping another fellow runner. Nobody wants to go to a store for a specialized product only to have some young clueless person pretend to know what he’s talking about. At Striders, there’s no pretending.

You’ll also find all the gear a tri-athlete may need, minus the bike. We carry a large selection of wetsuits, shorts, jerseys and accessories. For all you swimmers, we carry all the top lines of swimsuits.

But Striders is so much more than just selling products. We’re involved in the community helping with running-club events, high school events, college events and we also organize and sponsor 2 great running races. See our race events page.

Striders is owned by 2 avid runners, Steve and Deb Webster. While their step has slowed over the past 20 years, their love for running has not. You’ll still find them out running nearly every day, as do their children Erin and Andrew.

Stop by for a visit or to donate some gently worn shoes!

STRIDERS Specialty Running Store
4045 Chicago Dr. SW
Grandville, MI 49418
Monday - Friday: 9 am to 8 pm
Saturday: 9 am to 6 pm

North High School in Williamsville, NY, Holds Shoe Drive

The Amherst Bee is reporting that NORTH HIGH SCHOOL in Williamsville, New York, is holding a shoe drive that runs until February 27. All residents in the area are invited to drop off their "gently worn" shoes to join the students and teachers in helping Soles4Souls change the world, one pair at a time.

To date, more than 260 pairs of shoes have been collected.

For more information, visit the Amherst Bee's website.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Planning for festival heats up

[from the TECHNICIAN ONLINE, Raleigh, North Carolina]

Hillsborough Street planners work to prepare for day-long street festival

Organizers for the first annual Hillsborough Street Reneissance, a green arts and music festival designed to bring the community together, have started finalizing plans for the event.

Will McGuire, a senior in aerospace engineering and one of the event organizers, said plans for the March 14 event have continued to grow and change during the last month or so.

"Plans have been moving along," he said. "We're starting to finalize our plans for the festival. Right now we're focusing on sponsorship."

The street festival, scheduled to begin at noon and last until 10 p.m., will kick off the construction scheduled to take place on Hillsborough Street and the surronding area during the next two years.

The festival, McGuire said, is designed to bring the community of students, residents and local professionals together.

The event will also help three local charities--Engineers Without Borders, MorLove and Soles4Souls.

Since the planning started in late 2008, McGuire said the event has done nothing but grow.

"Initially, it was challenging because we had to meet with so many people and convince them the event was safe," he said. "After that, more and more people started to get involved."

McGuire said planners are still expecting up to 20,000 people to attend the event.

Attendees will have numerous attractions to choose from throughout the festival on March 14.

McGuire said there will be a pig and pie contest, an alternative fuels vehicle showcase, a fashion show, an iron chef contest and more.

The pig and pie cook off contest, sponsored by Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

There will also be bands on hand to play throughout the day.

Joseph Heil, an event coordinator for the festival, said most of the bands scheduled to play will be from the area.

"I think most of them are from either Raleigh or Chapel Hill," he said. "They are all from North Carolina at least."

To accomodate the large crowds expected, Hillsborough Street will be closed the day of the festival from Wachovia to Bruegger's Bagels.

McGuire said the closing of Hillsborough Street will allow the renaissance to have the feel of a true street festival. Raleigh police officers will assist in closing down the street to make things safe.

"It will be mainly Raleigh police," McGuire said. "They have a special operations division that will be helping us out."

Joseph Heil, a senior in textile engineering, said getting the street closed took some work.

"The street closure was definitely a challenge," Heil said. "We talked to a couple of city council members and wrote a proposal to the Raleigh police department to close the street. That request had to be approved by the City Council."

The section of Hillsborough Street between Pogue Street and Logan Court will close at 7 a.m. March 14 and remain blocked off until 5 a.m. March 15.

McGuire said once plans are finalized, Legacy Event Planners, the nonprofit group responsible for planning events for Hillsborough Street, will begin advertising the event.

"Our publicity and marketing will start Feb. 14," he said. "Most people won't remember an event if you advertise it more than a month in advance."

McGuire said there will be representatives from a parking company on hand the day of the festival to help with parking and accommodating crowds.

"All the University is open on the weekends," she said. "Also, all the neighborhood parking will be open. Mclaurin parking lot will be open with no charge and lots near Nelson Hall will be available as well. People will be guiding traffic too."


Cute Will Not Only Help Clean Up the Earth, But Will Soon Put Shoes on the Feet of Those in Need

They have arrived. 70 pairs of new shoes arrived yesterday at Soles4Souls’ warehouse in Roanoke, AL via a UPS truck. These shoes were donated by Cute, llc in hopes they will soon bring joy to many who are in need.

The owners of Cute, llc acquired 70 pairs of new shoes from a boutique that closed down. The owners of the company took it upon themselves to research where to donate them to, making sure the unworn shoes would not end up for sale in a store somewhere. After some research, it was evident Soles4Souls was the way to go. These ladies personally packed the 70 pairs by removing the boxes and unnecessary tissue paper (tossing them in their recycling bin, of course), they tied the pairs together with rubber bands, taped up the boxes and hand delivered them to a UPS driver in their area (while absorbing the shipping costs). “I was drawn to this organization when I read that their primary focus is disaster relief. They like to have an inventory on hand to be able to respond quickly to one. Our company plans on making donations to organizations such as Global Green USA which is helping rebuild a “green” New Orleans. I knew I didn’t have to search any further,” said Niurka, co-founder of Cute, llc.

Cute, llc was established in April of 2008 in hopes that their eco-friendly reusable market bags will send out the message that Swarovski crystals spell out on their Cute Bags: Cute (clean up the earth). Part of the proceeds of each bag will be donated to various organizations that are dedicated to doing good things for our planet. Cute’s mission is to reduce litter and encourage customers to tote their groceries in their reusable organic cotton bags. They want their consumers to be fashionably cute while being ecologically conscious.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Footprints Collecting Shoes

Footprints, a shoe store in Delafield, WI is collecting gently worn shoes for Soles4Souls.

People who donate shoes will receive a 20% discount coupon for use in the store. The offer runs all during the month of February. Footprints is in the Wal-Mart shopping center at the southeast corner of the I-94/Highway 83 interchange.

Footprints carries a huge selection of Birkenstock, Dansko, KEEN, as well as many other styles. For more information, visit

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Cal State Fullerton Students Collect Shoes

Donating shoes is the new fad in community service for college students. Whether you sport the trendy Toms or collect used shoes for those in need like Cal State Fullerton's Multicultural Greek Council, it's good for you and the world.

MCGC will be holding a shoe drive on Tuesday, Feb. 3 in the main Quad of CSUF from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m to collect shoes for Soles4Souls, MCGC President Phuong Le, said. Music, snacks, fliers and information will also be available. The shoe drive is part of a month-long effort to collect shoes.

"People get new shoes for Christmas," Le, a 21-year-old human services major, said. "I thought this philanthropy would be a great idea because college students have so many unused shoes in their closets, and what better thing to do with them than to help someone else out?"

Le wanted to start the new semester off the right way. She thought about a "kick-off," and immediately knew she wanted to do something with shoes. She searched the internet for shoe charities and Soles4Souls came up.

Jose Mendoza, a 19-year-old political science major and a memeber of the MCGC, likes the idea of Soles4Souls because it is helping people of different cultures all over the world. "It doesn't just help one specific region. It goes where it's most needed," he said.

MCGC is excited about helping out the needy, as well as getting their name spread around campus.

"We're a pretty small council, and we're trying to put our name on the map. By doing Soles4Souls, it's a way to show that MCGC, as small as we are, is trying to give back to the community as much as we can," Shuavarnnasri said.

MCGC is collecting all styles of shoes for Soles4Souls, from high heels to running shoes, Le said. After Tuesday's event, they will be collecting shoes in the Dean of Students office in TSU-235 for the rest of February. Le asks for a $1 donation so the shoes can be cleaned and shipped to the Soles4Souls warehouse in Las Vegas.