Thursday, April 30, 2009

Shoe Carnival Joins Forces with Soles4Souls

Shoe Carnival and Soles4Souls are partnering for the second straight year on a promotion aimed at putting shoes on the feet of people who need them most. From May 6th until May 26th, all Shoe Carnival customers will have the opportunity to donate $1 during checkout, which will go directly to helping people in need.

Funds raised during the Shoe Carnival promotion will be applied toward sending a new pair of shoes to victims of natural disasters or those living in extreme poverty, both here in the United States and around the world.

"Shoe Carnival is proud to continue our support of Soles4Souls through this exclusive fundraising program," said Todd Beurman, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Shoe Carnival. "Their mission to provide shoes for those in need is a message that resonates with our customers. The funds raised in our stores will make a meaningful impact in the lives of people in need around the world."

In addition to the fundraising program in all 300 Shoe Carnival stores, Soles4Souls and Shoe Carnival are partnering in seven major Shoe Carnival markets for shoe giveaways to local charities. Together, Soles4Souls and Shoe Carnival are donating thousands of new shoes to shelters and agencies in Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Nashville, Cincinnati and Louisville.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

21-Year-Old Entrepreneur Pledges to Help Children in Need

21-year-old entrepreneur and footwear retailer Alex Curavo is pledging to donate more than 1,000 pair of shoes to children in third world countries by the end of the year through his newest venture, My Kids Feet.

"More than 300 million children around the world walk on dirt roads and in dangerous debris-filled fields every day," said Curavo. "I witnessed this first hand last January while working for another non-profit organization in rural areas of the Dominican Republic. It broke my heart to see young children walking around barefoot on unpaved roads covered in trash and broken glass. I want to do something to help those children."

My Kids Feet has partnered with Soles4Souls and has pledged to donate one new pair of shoes or sandals to a child in need for every pair of Morgan & Milo or Dinosoles brand children's shoes sold on the company's website in 2009.

"Being a new start-up with modest sales, my goal is to donate 1,000 pair of shoes by the end of the year. If we can do more, I would be very excited," Curavo said.

Customers can join the cause by purchasing a pair of Morgan & Milo or Dinosoles shoes for their children at or donating a pair of shoes directly by mailing them to a Soles4Souls collection center.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Shoes on the Mall

Thirty thousand pairs of shoes were laid out around the reflecting pool near the U.S. Capitol to draw attention to the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. Each pair of shoes represented 100 lives lost.

Students from Loudoun County's Briar Woods High School (Ashburn, VA) collected the shoes, which will be distributed by Soles4Souls to Sudan and other parts of the world.

"The work that the students put in prior to this event really means so much," said Paul Wilson, president of the Soles4Souls World Outreach Division. "Some people do not have one pair of shoes."

Many of the shoes will be distributed in Sudan, with the rest given to homeless shelters, missions and international aid organizations across North America and other parts of the world. The remainders that are unacceptable for distribution will be recycled for playground surfaces.

Nick Carmean, 17, a senior at Briar Woods, said: "History teaches us that you have to pay attention to world events, and with the genocide taking place in Darfur, you have to do something about it."

Carmean was a student in Logan Williams's international relations class, which spearheaded the project. Former heavy weight boxing champion Riddick Bowe and Nyasha Zimucha, Miss Africa USA 2008-09, were also on hand for the event.

Prarie Striders Shoe Drive

Prairie Striders running club of Brookings, SD is joining with Soles4Souls to collect new and used shoes for the needy.

Strider board member Lyle Claussen has been working on a low-key approach with the group since last summer and collected 103 pairs. Shoes can be left at the office of physical therapist Chuck McCullough in the Avera Brookings Medical Clinic, 400 22nd Ave., and Bartling's Nike Shoes, 410 Fourth St.

Claussen said the shoes should have "some life left" in them, but they need not be just running shoes.

"Soles4Souls accepts dress shoes, men and women's , work boots. About anything that people have, they can use," Claussen said.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Freed-Hardeman Group Collects More than 1,000 Pairs of Shoes

At various locations on the Freed-Hardeman University campus in Henderson, TN, boxes are full of shoes. Dress shoes, tennis shoes, flip-flops and more are filling donation boxes for Soles4Souls.

The College Democrats of Freed-Hardeman started a shoe and money drive on March 24, said Greg Massey. He is the faculty sponsor of the College Democrats at the university. Those students and others are sponsoring the shoe drive and are collecting new and gently worn shoes of all types and sizes, he said.

"We will deliver them to Soles4Souls in Nashville," Massey said.

Justin Spurlock, a junior education major, is president of the College Democrats. The group decided this could be a great community service project.

"This started off with just a few people, but then others started coming to us asking to help," he said. "Eventually, the education department and the student teachers club raised about $200 and bought several new pairs of shoes."

Spurlock said he was surprised by the amount of shoes they have collected. In the attic of the building that houses Massey's office, more than 1,000 pairs have been sorted and are ready to be delivered.

Massey said FHU's chapter of the College Democrats became rejuvenated in January, and this shoe drive helped the club grow.

"It's not about politics but about empowering people," he said. "And giving shoes is a good first step in helping people."

Friday, April 24, 2009

Soles4Souls Collector Aims for 100,000 Pair

Growing up with his mother, two brothers and a sister in lovely and mountainous Cayey, Puerto Rico, Alexander Diaz was poor, but, he said, he "always had a pair of shoes." Today, he is working to make sure that 100,000 needy people around the world receive the same.

"I would be the first individual to donate 100,000 pairs of shoes to Soles4Souls. That is my goal. I always reach my goals," he said.

Diaz said his family in Puerto Rico valued shoes as something special, not something to be taken for granted.

"My mother worked hard to provide for us. We worked hard for a pair of shoes. That's what I wanted for my birthday. When my feet are happy, I am happy."

Diaz lives in Charlton, MA and owns the UPS Store franchises at 482 Southbridge St., Auburn; 210 Park Ave., Worcester; and 800 Main St., Holden. They are collecting new and "gently used" shoes at these and other locations.

"So many people have been affected by the recession. So many people are in need. Shoes can make a huge difference in their lives," Diaz said.

St. Joseph's Church of Auburn also heeded his call for help, as well as a volunteer group from Auburn High School and the Boy Scout Troop 101. After less than two months of collecting shoes, Diaz has more than 2,500 pairs of shoes, all boxed and stored along the walls of the UPS Store in Auburn.

"They will go all over the United States and all over the world," he said. "We can keep the feet of 100,000 people with something on them, making them feel better."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Whole Earth Provision Kicks off Shoe Drive

It's a perfect tri-fecta of cleaning out your closet, getting a discount, and helping out those less fortunate.

Whole Earth Provision, an outdoor store with 4 locations in Texas is holding a shoe drive to benefit Soles4Souls. From now until May 2, all customers who bring in a pair of gently worn shoes to donate toward the effort will receive $10 off a purchase of Clarks, Privo, or Indigo brand footwear. For store locations, click here.

About Whole Earth Provision
Over the course of thirty-eight years and the openings of six additional stores across Texas, Whole Earth Provision Company has grown to include extensive shoe and clothing departments for casual and active wear, gear to equip almost any outdoor need, accessories like Swiss Army knives, sunglasses and compasses. For more information visit

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Timberland and Soles4Souls Launch Shoe Donation Program

Timberland announced a new consumer promotion with long-time partner Soles4Souls to help provide free footwear to those in need, both in the United States and around the world.

Beginning on April 23, customers will be invited to drop off any pair of gently worn shoes at 68 Timberland retail locations around the U.S. in exchange for a 10% discount off of a new pair of Timberland footwear. All brands of men's, women's and children's footwear will be accepted for donation.

"We are proud to have donated more than 75,000 pairs of Timberland footwear to Soles4Souls over the past three years," said John Trott, vice-president of consumer direct for Timberland North America. "This new, expanded in-store program gives our customers the opportunity to join in and provide footwear - a basic, but essential, amenity that many of us take for granted - to those in need around the world."

The new footwear donation program will be promoted through online banners, in-store merchandising and public relations efforts. Timberland's partnership with Soles4Souls is part of its ongoing commitment to service, community and sustainability initiatives.

Over the past 16 years, Timberland employees around the world have used more than 500,000 hours of Path of Service program time to engage in community-building activities such as Serv-a-palooza and Earth Day initiatives.

To learn more about Timberland or to find a store near you, please visit To learn more about becoming an Earthkeeper, visit

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Camp Barefoot Partners with Soles4Souls

Camp Barefoot Music Festival, a grassroots, family style music and art event, will take place August 13-15, 2009 at the scenic Cove Campground in Gore, Virginia.

Heybro Productions, LLC, continues to produce a grassroots festival supporting the regional and local music scene up and down the eastern seaboard. Camp Barefoot 3 will see Heybro expand their focus to bringing in an array of national talents as well. Numerous bands on multiple stages, with no overlapping national acts, the three day Camp Barefoot event promises to deliver an intimate musical experience.

This year Camp Barefoot will not only bring great music to the discerning festival goer but will also partner with Soles4Souls to collect donations of new and gently used shoes for those in need or those affected by natural disasters.

Tickets are limited to a max capacity of 2,300 people. Advance ticket prices are: 2-day tickets are $75 w/ camping included, 3 day tickets are $100 w/ camping included. There are also 75 VIP passes available for $175 w/ camping included. Camp Barefoot 3 will also encompass a variety of vendors providing food and arts and crafts.
The lineup includes…2 nights of Lotus (one night will be late night)

Perpetual Groove
Toubab Krewe
John Brown’s Body
Hackensaw Boys
The Breakfast (2 nights)
The Bridge
Jazzam (2 nights)
The Boogie Hustlers
Midnight Spaghetti & the Chocolate G Strings
Modern Groove Syndicate
And more

For more festival information check out

Central Baptist Sponsors Shoe Collection

Central Baptist Church in Anderson, KY is sponsoring a Soles4Souls shoe collection for the second consecutive year. Any and all types and sizes of shoes are needed.

The breezeway at the church will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for drop-offs until May 15. The church is located on Bypass North near the Anderson-Franklin county line across the road from the cell phone tower.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Track and Field Team Collecting Shoes

The Geneva High School girls track and field team in Chicago, IL is hosting a shoe drive to benefit Soles4Souls. The shoe drive will run for about month, beginning Monday April 13, and ending Friday, May 8. Area residents were invited to recycle their "gently worn" shoes for people in need.

Throughout the shoe drive the girls track team will be hosting two home meets, last Saturday, and May 8. There will be drop off boxes for the shoes at Burgess Field on those two days. Otherwise, shoes can be dropped off in the bins in the high schools gymnasiums during normal school hours.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pay it Forward Fest set for Saturday

Hayrides, games, karaoke and a guest appearance from Tennessee Titans mascot T-RAC will highlight the second annual Pay it Forward Festival in downtown Nashville this Saturday.

The event is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Tennessee Children's Home on Main Street and benefits six charities: Curesearch (childhood cancer research), Soles4Souls, the Tennessee Children's Home, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Teen Challenge and the future Arborvitae Home in Spring Hill.

Admission is a canned food item or a pair of new or gently used shoes. Money will be raised through donations, sponsors, nominal ticket prices for games and a silent auction with items and services donated by area businesses.

"All this is being done just by using the resources we have in the community," said event organizer Darrell Digby.

All money raised and donated items will go to support the charities and a few local families that have recently been through tragedy.

Last year's event raised $3,300 and collected 750 pairs of shoes, Digby said. This year, volunteers hope to raise $30,000 and collect 3,000 pairs of shoes. Digby hopes that's possible since the first year was planned in just five weeks.

"This year our goals are much higher because we've had a whole year to plan for it," he said.

Digby said he is working with Soles4Souls to help distribute the shoes as well as to deliver money raised to the other charities.

Julie Stauss, operations manager for the Nashville office of Soles4Souls, said the organization plans to have a vehicle at the Tennessee Children's Homes a few days before the festival for shoe donations.

"Darrell has been a delight to work with," she said. "The hardest thing is getting the word out, and he's helped us get so many (collection) boxes out in the community. I think he's already got a half a garage full of shoes collected."

Stauss said they are happy to work with Digby until he secures nonprofit status for future events and applauded the festival's concept, which she said fits Souls4Souls' mission.

"Financially, it may be hard to give cash right now, but everybody has shoes they can donate," she said.

Digby, who has lived in Spring Hill since 2001, said the movie Pay it Forward inspired him to plan last year's event with friends.

"I don't have a whole lot of money to change somebody's life, but I can do something," he said. "I woke up in the middle of the night, and this idea was in my head and I could not get it out. That's it. I just want this to be successful and really take off."

For more information, e-mail or visit

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

5th Grader Helps Bring in 800 Pairs

Anna Dailey is following in her sister's footsteps, so to speak.

Two years ago, when Julia Dailey was in fifth grade she organized a shoe drive at Hampton Cove Elementary School in Huntsville, AL for Soles4Souls. Julia collected dozens of pairs of shoes, and Anna, who is now in the same fifth-grade gifted program at Hampton Cove her older sister was in, decided she wanted to organize her own drive.

"I remember her coming home every day and telling us how many shoes had been donated," Anna said.

Anna and her friend, Audrey Corbett, had just done a count of about 300 pairs of shoes donated at the school. The Fleet Feet shoe store also contributed another 500 pairs to Anna's drive, bringing the total to about 800 pairs of shoes. The shoes ranged from worn athletic shoes to barely worn dressy sandals.

"My teacher brought in high heels," said Anna about her homeroom teacher Nancy Bass.

To get the project started, Anna first had to write a letter to her principal, Dr. Fillis McGhee, asking for permission. She then contacted Soles4Souls to get collection boxes and a banner to announce the drive. She wrote a note to go out in the folders that go home with the school's 1,000 students every Wednesday, and appeared on the school daily news broadcast twice to ask for donations.

"I honestly helped zero," said Sonia Parker, Anna's teacher. "I would just say 'Think about what you want to do this week'."

While Anna does get class credit for her project, she just wanted to do it, regardless of the recognition.

"If we need a new pair of shoes, we get a new pair of shoes," she said. "It's not the same for everybody. The shoe drive was a way of giving back, which everyone should try to do."

"It just feels good," she said.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Shoe Drive A Big Success at Middle School

Manor Middle School students in Lancaster, PA have proven they know how to get a job done.

In less than two weeks, the students managed to collect 1,319 pairs of shoes for Soles4Souls. Peer Helpers organized the event, which kicked off March 30 and ended last Wednesday.

"Our goal was 500 pairs," noted Zac Bauermaster, teacher and program coordinator. "The volume of shoes collected was well over twice that number."

The idea for a shoe drive came out of a unit of study on Africa. Bauermaster said his students and those of Deron Gue's seventh- grade geography class learned that some African children work 12- hour days in mines without shoes for foot protection.

"We saw so many pictures of children without shoes," he said. "We really want the students to understand and have empathy towards people in other countries," Bauermaster added.

The Manor Middle School students jumped right in and began gathering shoes.

"It's a good way for everyone to get involved," stated Hannah Breidenbaugh, a Peer Helper. "It's not hard to pitch in and help."

For every pair of shoes donated, the students received a receipt, which they could enter into a drawing. The Inside Track is donating prizes. And the group that brought in the most pairs will get to help shave Gue's head.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Center Stage Children's Theatre Company in Philadelphia Partners with Soles4Souls

Philadelphia was recently voted the 4th best "walking city" in the U.S., and Center Stage Children's Theatre Company is celebrating the honor by partnering with shoe charity Soles4Souls.  From April 20 until May 11, Philadelphians are asked to donate their shoes at the Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush High School, at 11081 Knights Road (map this school).  The phone number is (215) 281-2603.

All collected shoes will be donated to needy Americans across the country.

In addition to their charitable efforts with Soles4Souls, the Center Stage Children's Theatre Company will be performing FOOTLOOSE, the musical, on May 29, 30 and 31 at the high school.  Ticket information is available on the school's website, which can be found here.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Student-Athletes to Collect Shoes

Eastern Kentucky University student-athletes have partnered with Soles4Souls to collect gently worn footwear and/or donations to ship the shoes to a person in need. Donations will be accepted between April 16 and April 30. Shoes can be dropped off Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 the Bratzke Center in Alumni Coliseum.

Chaska Students Offer Hope Through Shoes

Chaska High School students in Chaska, MN are helping the needy by partnering with Soles4Souls. Like many other schools and organizations, Chaska High School often utilizes fundraising programs to generate critical revenue for its operations and goals.

Students will collecting donations from family and friends for the purchase of new $5 flip-flops or $10 clogs that will be sent to a person in need. Through the Soles4Souls program, the school receives 40% of the proceeds, along with unique incentives for students and the programs they are representing.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Shoes & Champagne Raises A Glass For Soles4Souls

As seen in WSA Today

Shoes from 65 footwear designers including Irregular Choice, Be & D, Donald J Pliner and Casadei will be on display at the International Shoes & Champagne gala on May 8. The new event will coincide with Ottawa’s Canadian Tulip Festival.

“I love shoes, and I thought it would be a great idea to have all these shoes under one roof, displayed as art,” says event manager Caroline Ouimet. “I called designers, and the response was overwhelming.”

During the Friday evening gala, guests will also be invited to bid on footwear via auction. The two day showcase will also raise funds for Soles4Souls through the auction as well as donations to a Shoe Mountain.

“The Shoe Mountain starts May 1 and runs throughout the Tulip Festival,” says Ouimet. “People can add a pair of their used shoes to the Shoe Mountain or buy a pair of flip-flops which will benefit someone in need of shoes. We wanted to do something socially purposeful."

Special guests Beth Harbison, author of Shoe Addicts Anonymous and Secrets of a Shoe Addict, will also have a book signing when the event opens to the public on May 9.

“In the gloomy time we’re seeing, it’s very satisfying to do something that’s looking upwards, outwards and doing good,” says Ouiment. To find out more, visit

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Mack Moore Shoe Drive

Starting last week and running through Saturday, April 11, Mack Moore Shoes in Charleston, IL will be the site for area residents to drop off their gently worn shoes for Soles4Souls.

Mack Moore Shoes, 305 W. Lincoln Ave in Charleston, will join with Soles4Souls to become a participating location to collect donations for people in need. Residents may drop off monetary donations or gently worn footwear to be sent to people in need, whether they are victims of a natural disaster or subject to living in extreme poverty.

Nebraska City Shoe Store Hosts Shoe Drive for Soles4Souls

[from the Nebraska City News Press]

Brown's Shoe Fit, 811 Central Ave., is hosting a shoe drive to help needy people around the world.  The Nebraska City store is one of 51 Brown's Shoe Fit locations to benefit Soles4Souls Inc., an international footwear charity.

During the shoe drive, Brown's Shoe Fit will offer $10 off a purchase of Clarks Companies shoes to all customers who bring in gently worn pairs of shoes toward the effort.

The shoe drive is scheduled April 10-20.

Nashville-based Soles4Souls has distributed more than 4.3 million pairs to people in over 125 countries, including Honduras, Uganda, Romania, and the United States.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Making a Difference Two Shoes at a Time

Dee Gordon (pictured) of Gainesville, VA said it’s the small things we take for granted that can make all the difference in the world to others.

“We don’t know how good we have it until something is taken away from us,”said Gordon, whose family immigrated to the United States from Laos in 1980.

So Gordon brought a couple of plastic shopping bags full of shoes to Sudley Manor Square in Manassas, VA to donate to Soles4Souls.

“Sometimes the little things that we take for granted, other people don’t have,” Gordon said.

Allan Clark, a Soles4Souls volunteer, is driving with his wife, Silvana, across the United States in a recreational vehicle to collect shoes for those who need them.

Silvana Clark said she’s getting more than shoes out of the trip she and her husband decided to take after their daughter left for college.

“We get to meet wonderful people,” said Silvana Clark, of Seattle. “We get to see people coming in and donating shoes and we get to travel the country.”

The Clarks, who worked for Soles4Souls in Seattle, will be touring for a year to collect the shoes, box them up and ship them off for rehabilitation, Allan Clark said.

“They get refurbished in our warehouses down in Alabama or in Las Vegas and shipped around the world,” he said.

Shirley Davis, who lives in the Sudley area, said she was glad to find some use for the shoes she can’t wear anymore.

“I’m handicapped and I can’t wear heels anymore. I was going to throw them in the trash,” Davis said.

It was a little party in the parking lot which included free pizza from Papa Johns and an appearance from Ronald McDonald. People applauded when someone came in with shoes, like when Alex Bumpers brought in some dress shoes that looked new.

“I don’t waste. Those are just some shoes that didn’t fit quite right,” Bumpers said. “I think that this is obviously a great cause.”

Arizona Fire Stations Collecting Shoes

Scottsdale Fire Department in partnership with the Scottsdale Firefighters Association Local 3878, are collecting new and gently used footwear to benefit Soles4Souls.

Community members are encouraged to drop off ‘gently worn’ shoes and/or boots at one of Scottsdale’s 14 fire stations or the Witzeman Public Safety Building (8401 E. Indian School Road, Scottsdale). Each location will be an ongoing drop location.

Scottsdale Fire Stations are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, we encourage you to try to stop by between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Upon arrival, please ring the door bell or knock on the station door to alert the firefighters you are there to make a donation. If there is no answer, crews may be responding to an emergency call. To locate the nearest fire station, visit

Captain Sasha Weller and members of Scottsdale Fire Department are excited about this new program.

“It’s a great time for spring cleaning” stated Weller. “The simple act of dropping off shoes taking up space in your closet will greatly improve someone’s life in the most difficult of times” he added.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Fleet Feet Sports Announces Shoe Drive

The people that truly make Soles4Souls effective are those who clean out their closets to personally drop off their gently worn shoes at a participating location, such as Fleet Feet Sports in Raleigh, NC.

Soles4Souls and Fleet Feet Sports Raleigh will be collecting your gently worn footwear and/or donations to ship the shoes to people in need, whether they are victims of a natural disaster or subject to living in extreme poverty.

The shoe donation program features an official kick-off at Fleet Feet's Spring has Sprung free fun run and walk on Saturday, April 4th.

About Fleet Feet Sports
Fleet Feet Sports Raleigh is a locally-owned running store featuring a welcoming environment where runners, walkers and fitness enthusiasts of all abilities receive unparalleled service and support. The knowledgeable team takes the time to get to know you and your specific needs in order to guide you to the products that are the right FIT for you, whether it is footwear, athletic clothing, sports bras or fitness accessories. For more information, call (919) 832-8275 or visit

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Letter from the Kansas City Rescue Mission

This is a letter we recently received from Julie Larocco, the development officer for the Kansas City Rescue Mission.

Dear Soles4Souls,

I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it was to experience the work of Soles4Souls firsthand here at the Kansas City Rescue Mission last Wednesday. Our case managers gave out 90 vouchers for free shoes and socks from 2:30 - 4:00 p.m. The crew hugged, encouraged and fitted men with shoes as though they'd been doing it all their lives.

A young crack addict who can barely function anymore is seated on a bench outside my office. He rocks back and forth humming. His feet are warm and dry.

An elderly man traded his incredibly taped and tattered sandals and filthy socks for brand new socks and shoes. As I drove into our parking lot last Thursday, I saw him asleep on a wall despite the cold. His feet were warm and dry.

Men in our Christian Community of Recovery now have the shoes they need to head to work sites, job interviews and legal appointments. They are proud of their new shoes; many have saved the boxes and store them carefully each night. On man laughed, "Now I can run fast and jump high!" Another said, "These are the first shoes I've had since I came here that actually fit."

Thanks you so much for the honor of receiving this gift. We appreciate your efforts and those of Adam Gregory and his crew. God bless you all in your ministry.

Reaching Up,
Julie Larocco
Development Officer

Mary Baldwin College to Conduct Shoe Drive

Mary Baldwin college in Staunton, VA is conducting a shoe drive as part of a Haitian festival on the lower campus from 5 to 9 p.m. on April 3.

People who attend the festivities are asked to bring their own "gently worn" shoes to donate to Soles4Souls. All shoes collected will go directly to helping someone in need, whether they live around the block or across an ocean.

Soles4Souls is touring North America in a custom-wrapped RV through February, 2010 in order to increase public participation in its many programs. The Soles4Souls RV Tour includes stops in thousands of cities, including Staunton, for festivals and events such as this.

"We want to invite all people from Staunton, and the surrounding community, to clean out their closets and support the work of Soles4Souls," said Wayne Elsey, founder and CEO of the shoe charity. "It's awesome to see such high level of participation in our various events, and we want to thank our caring partners at Mary Baldwin College who are giving their community a chance to come together for a simple yet important cause," he said.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Soles4Souls and look forward to radio station 93.7 joining us for our event,” said MBC sophomore Melissa Elsey. “Free pedicures and massages, a water balloon dodge ball game, piƱatas, and a Haitian food theme have all been planned. The event is hosted by a number of campus clubs and organizations, but we want to invite everyone in the Mary Baldwin College community. We have chosen Haiti to receive the donations of shoes collected.”

The gift of shoes does more than lift the spirits of those in desperate need. It also reduces the risk of puncture wounds, scrapes and burns to the feet, and stops hookworm infections. Also, by donating shoes to needy people, Staunton residents can greatly reduce the number of perfectly good shoes being wasted in their local landfills.