Tuesday, July 28, 2009

August Shoe Drive at Opry Mills

Soles4Souls will be collecting new shoes from shoppers at Opry Mills shopping mall in Nashville, TN the entire month of August to be donated back to the community.

Shoppers who donate new shoes will receive an Opry Mills coupon book. Shoes can be brought to the guest services area at the mall.

Ten celebrity autographed shoes will be displayed during the month at OFF 5th Saks 5th Avenue for bidding on eBay at noon Aug. 21 until noon Aug. 31.

On Saturday, Aug. 8, Soles4Souls will celebrate its Guinness world record set for longest chain of shoes made with nearly 20,000. Soles4Souls made the chain from its collection of new and gently used shoes last holiday season.

Activities on Aug. 8 include:
• 1-3 p.m. — Radio remote from Mix 92.9 FM.
• 1-2 p.m. — The Fish, 94 FM will present an artist on stage.
• 2:15 p.m. — Wayne Elsey, Soles4Souls CEO, will speak and be presented with the Guiness world record certificate.
• 2:30 p.m. — Tiffany Johnson performs.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bartling's Shoes

In addition to being a place to pick up a pair of new running shoes, Bartling's Shoes in Brookings, South Dakota is a spot to drop off your gentle used footwear. Bartling's Shoes, along with Prairie Striders running club of Brookings, are working with Soles4Souls to collect new and used shoes for the needy.

Lyle Claussen, the new owner of Bartling's Shoes, has been working with Striders and Soles4Souls since last summer and collected 221 pairs. Shoes can be left at the store or the office of physical therapist Chuck McCullough in the Avera Brookings Medical Clinic, 400 22nd Ave.

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.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Shoes Distributed to Children in Honduras

Soles4Souls partner Shod with Peace Ministry International coordinated a recent distribution in rural Honduras. New pairs from See Kai Run and Gospel clog were donated to an orphanage and two village schools in Yasi and Yamaranguilla, Intubica, Honduras.

Team members from Soles4Souls and SPMI worked together to remove old, worn shoes from the children's feet and replace them with new ones. Nearly all of the shoes were handed out, with a few smaller sizes that were left for the ministry.

The children in the villages sat in stunned slience. A few mothers who were standing there began exclaiming in rapid Spanish how grateful they were with tears streaming down their faces.

"One mother in particular clung to my arm and repeated over and over how much of a blessing this was for her two young ones," said Soles4Souls outreach member Jerry Cotney. "The villagers were humble and were so grateful that most of them accompanied our team all the way back up the mountain to our awaiting bus."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

RV Tour Article

Here is an article in Trading Markets on Allan and Silvana Clark's Soles4Souls' RV tour. For more stories on their adventures, read their blog here.

The first time a motorist waved Allan and Silvana Clark off the road on their shoe-collecting trek across America, Silvana thought their RV must have a broken taillight. Instead, the motorist said she had a bag of used shoes in her trunk that she'd been planning to drop off at a thrift store.

"Will you take them?" Silvana Clark recalled the driver saying.

The Seattle couple stopped in Cedar Rapids this week on a yearlong RV trip that began in March to represent Soles4Souls at shoe collection drives. They visited Finish Line stores at Westdale Mall and Lindale Mall on Monday and Wednesday, and the Foot Solutions store on Blairs Ferry Road on Tuesday.

The volunteers go anywhere that people have shoes to give away -- "schools, Rotary clubs, churches, road runs, community fairs," Clark said.

Runners have handed the Clarks a still-hot pair of sweat-soaked $200 running shoes at the finish line of marathons, slipped on a pair of flip-flops, and walked away.

"I have hand sanitizers with me at all time," said Silvana, a professional speaker and writer.

About 3,000 shoes were donated to victims of last year's flood in Cedar Rapids, Clark said.

The Clarks have been to Africa, Peru, Guatemala and other countries where Soles4Souls ships used shoes.

"We've had times when people would line up four to five hours in advance, and the line stretches around the block," Silvana said.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Girl Power Hour Collect Shoes

Over 90 women attended the Sorbet & Shoe Social in Seattle last week, held on the waterfront patio at Salty's. The social was one of the monthly events thrown by Seattle's premier social and networking group, Girl Power Hour.

Everyone was encouraged to bring a pair of new or gently worn shoes to donate for soles4souls and over 100 pairs were collected.

Girl Power Hour will host an event in September that will benefit Soles4Souls' partner Dress for Success. They also support Women of Purpose, WWish, American Heart Association and others.

For more information visit www.girlpowerhour.com.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Soles4Souls 4 Jesse Knowles

The fundraiser for Jesse Knowles and Soles4Souls at C & L Recycling will be ending July 31st. Be sure to get your donations in soon!

Jesse Knowles was diagnosed with an extremely rare brain tumor earlier this year. He remains incredibly upbeat and is inspiring hundreds of people with his story.

If you live in or near Clarksville, Tennessee, you may support Jesse with monetary donations at C & L Recycling, located at 1515 C Vista Lane. They will also be collecting gently worn shoes until the end of the month for Soles4Souls.

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.

If you do not live in Tennessee or if it is after July 31st, you may help Jesse with monetary donations and words of encouragement at www.caringbridge.org/visit/jesseknowles.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Program Provides Shoes to Kids

Mary Wanger of Rock Hill, SC said her grandkids don't have much, but the look on their faces Saturday as they put on a new pair of shoes told a different story.

To them, they had it all.

“It was a blessing to see the smiles,” said Wanger, 50. “(The shoes) aren't a $100 dollars or anything, they're just plan old simple shoes, and they're happy with them.”

Wanger, along with other families in Rock Hill, was able to get shoes for free at Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church, thanks to native Rock Hill native and Tennessee Titans safety Chris Hope and his partnership with Soles4Souls.

Soles4souls provided the church with 800 pairs of shoes that filled five tables Saturday, and there were still plenty of shoes left over. The shoes included name brands such as Keds and Reebox.

Tisha Burns, 30, of Rock Hill graduated with Hope at Rock Hill High School and said the drive has helped her family tremendously.

“I'm not able to afford shoes and the clothes. I'm very grateful that they were able to do this,” she said.

Hope's cousin, Nard Wylie, 35, of Rock Hill, oversaw the event and said it was Hope's idea because he wanted the church to get involved with the organization. This is the first year the church has hosted a shoe drive, but Wylie said it won't be the last. The remaining shoes will be stored away and used at the next drive.

Wylie said he hopes people will get more out of the event than the shoes.

“I hope to see that we have made it so that they can come and give back to the community. I hope to see more people like Chris. Chris is blessed and he likes to bless others,” Wylie said.

Pastor Sandra Mason said the church is here to help the community.

“Things may be good today and bad tomorrow. We're hoping that if tomorrow is not good they'll remember today and Mount Pilgrim Church,” she said.

The event was part of the church's “Friends & Family” weekend celebration. Hope grew up at Mount Pilgram Baptist and still attends when he's in the Carolinas.

For him, the drive is more than just giving away a free pair of shoes.

“Not only do they get a pair of shoes, they get the opportunity to shake hands with a national football player. Any time you put a smile on a kids face, it's something you can't replace,” he said.

Hope donates more than just his time to Souls4Shoes — he also donates $100 for each tackle made on the field. He donated more than $8,000 for his success during the 2008 season.

Though Hope got much of the attention Saturday, he stressed the event wasn't about him.

“This is not for me to get the glory. It's giving the glory to God. He blesses you. I'm just trying to drop hope,” he said. “I come from the same church, the same community. I have dreams and God is using me to help with their dreams.”

Mast General Store Drive

Helping disaster victims take their first steps toward recovery, Mast General Store collected 3,000 pairs of gently worn shoes. This was made possible by the generosity of customers and the local community determined to help the needy worldwide.

“This is just remarkable,” said Mary Nase, general manager for the Mast Store in Greenville, S.C. Nase served as company coordinator of the Soles4Souls project. “All the store communities have really supported this project. It is wonderful to see people come together to help others.”

"Eight large pallets are now on their way to the Soles4Souls warehouse for distribution," said Nase. "To give you ideas of just how big this is, one pallet of boxes is over five feet tall and about four feet wide, then multiply by eight. This definitely will not fit in the trunk of your car or the back of your pickup truck."

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sole Envy Shoe Drive

Sole Envy in Provo, Utah has announced a shoe drive at the Provo Towne Centre Mall. Utah County residents are invited to recycle their "gently worn" shoes for people in need.

From July 20th thru August 20th, Soles4Souls and Sole Envy will be collecting your gently worn footwear and/or donations to ship the shoes to a person in need, whether they are victims of a natural disaster or subject to living in extreme poverty.

Sole Envy is a locally owned shoe store in the Provo Towne Centre Mall located at 1200 Towne Centre Blvd. They offer women of all ages the opportunity to dress their best and feel fabulous.

“I’m excited for this opportunity to help others," said Laura Felt, owner of Sole Envy. "We want all of Utah County to understand that making this small action will benefit and change someone’s life."

Sole Envy will offer a discount on store items to anyone who bring in a pair of shoes to donate.
For more information, visit http://www.soleenvy.com/.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Rock/Creek and Chaco Collect Hundreds of Donated Shoes

Rock/Creek and footwear manufacturer, Chaco, Inc., announced this week that that on behalf of customers who participated in their Chaco Recycle Program, they will donate over 500 pairs of lightly worn shoes to Soles4Souls, who will distribute them to people in need. This year marked the 6th anniversary of the Chaco Recycle Program, which with help from retailers like Rock/Creek has collected over 14,000 pairs of shoes since its launch in 2004.

The mission of the recycle program is to encourage customers to donate their old but usable shoes rather than tossing them in the trash. During the two week program, Chaco and Rock/Creek offered customers a 20% discount on a new pair of Chaco Sandals in exchange for their donated shoes.

"I would not hesitate to say there are even more pairs of shoes than the 500," said Rock/Creek buyer, Chad Wykle. "I saw customers donate several additional pairs beyond the one pair required to receive the 20% Chaco discount. The Chattanooga community and RockCreek.com shoppers really took to this idea."

Footwear donated in recent years has gone to support the elimination of hookworm anemia, a condition which is estimated to affect 1 in 3 people in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prevention, through the use of protective footwear, has been proven to prevent hookworm anemia. Through one of the previous Chaco Recycle Programs, an entire village in Uganda was outfitted with shoes--a simple solution that completely eliminated hookworm anemia in the village.

This year donated shoes will be distributed by Soles4Souls.

Rock/Creek co-owner Marvin Webb said of the recycle program, "It's a good fit for Rock/Creek and Chaco, two companies who are both committed to sustainability. Not only are customers' old shoes diverted from landfills, but they also provide extra miles for people who need them. We're proud to take part in the initiative."

Brad McAllister, Sustainability Adviser for Rock/Creek, added, "Sustainability typically is defined as the long term balance between the environment, the economy and the needs of society. By offering customers the ability to recycle old footwear through donations to developing countries, and purchase a new pair of Chacos at a discounted price, the program touches on all three corners of sustainability. This is certainly a model program for all companies considering sustainability initiatives."

Monday, July 13, 2009

Thanks from EAST

Here is a thank you note that was printed in the Creston News Advertiser, in Creston Iowa. The letter was from Shawn Miller, a teacher at Creston High School EAST, who wanted to thank his students and all the others in the community who participated in their shoe drive. We also want to take the time to thank the great students of Creston High for helping Soles4Souls "change the world, one pair at a time." Great job Creston High School!

I want to take a moment to thank each and every one of you that made our Creston High School EAST classes Soles4Souls project so successful. Near the end of the school year, a handful of my students became interested in a shoe collecting organization called Soles4Souls after learning of the plight of children in impoverished countries.

All told, we were able to collect a total of 555 pairs of shoes, boots, sandals, etc., of all sizes, makes and models that will be sent to the headquarters of Soles4Souls organization in Nashville, Tenn., and then sent to children worldwide in need. Our original goal for this project was to bring in 300 pairs of shoes which we easily surpassed due in large part to the outstanding support of the Creston community in this worthwhile cause. A special thank you goes out to the following individuals and businesses for either hosting a drop off location for this cause and/or for their sizable donations: Rhonda Miller and the employees of Bunn, the Dollar General Store, The Family Shoe Store, Greater Regional Medical Center and Crooks Clothing Company in Greenfieid.

We appreciate all of the support that EAST has received from the entire Creston community and particularly from the respective interest groups and businesses that exist here. The support has really benefited the program as we work diligently to lay the foundation for the only EAST program in the state of Iowa.

Thanks again for all of your help with this project. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Foot Petals to Help People in Need

If you love to pamper your feet and help people in need, then we have a great solution for you! Supporting Soles4Souls has just become easier, thanks to Foot Petals, the leader in women's foot comfort products.

Foot Petals is donating $1 to Soles4Souls with each purchase of their new product, "3 Step Sole-utionz," on www.footpetals.com. The staff at Foot Petals is also collecting new and gently worn footwear in their office to support the needy worldwide with the gift of shoes.

"We are excited to have the continued support of Foot Petals in helping give shoes to people in need," said Wayne Elsey, Founder and CEO of Soles4Souls. "Foot Petals has rallied around our charity and their efforts are making enormous impact in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. We are deeply honored to have their partnership," he said.

Foot Petals has a unique product line, designed "for those of us who have a love/hate relationship with our sexy shoes." From comfortable, "gotta have" foot cushions to fun and creative accessories, Foot Petals has earned widespread praise for their products and compassionate work with charitable organizations.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Los Alamos Shoe Drive

To benefit those lacking footwear, a drive to collect new and gently worn shoes of all sizes is underway throughout the Los Alamos community in Northern New Mexico.

First Baptist Church at 2200 Diamond Drive is sponsoring the drive for Soles4Souls through Sunday.

“Footwear is a basic need that most of us take for granted every day,” Drive Coordinator Fay Moss said. “While most of the world does not have one adequate pair of shoes, we Americans have an abundance of footwear in our closets.”

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Central Oregon Helps World With Shoes

What to do with unwanted shoes? In Bend, OR a number of local businesses are collecting your unwanted, slightly used, practical shoes for those in need around the world.

Therisa Clawson of Cascade Insurance said they have just received their first collection box from Soles4Souls and are excited to start collecting footwear. With six shelves of shoes at home and an office full of employees and clients, she's expecting donations immediately.

"When I first heard about this, I thought wow, that would be really neat," said Clawson. "I liked the idea that it was the whole world but I really liked the idea that it was also within the United States."

Footzone, a shoe store in downtown Bend, teamed up with Soles4Souls about a year ago.

"A lot of people wondered what to do with their running shoes that are maybe too tired for running but maybe you can still wear around," said Dave Thomason with Footzone. "It makes people feel good that their shoes are getting used again."

They estimate they ship two boxes full of about 30 shoes every month. Some of the shoes donated at Footzone will stay in Central Oregon where they will be donated to high schools and given to athletes without the means to purchase new shoes.

Other collection locations are Fleet Feet and The McDonald Group in Bend.

Rowan Sky has Arrived

Rowan Sky, a posh new shoe store in Vancouver, British Columbia will be collecting gently worn shoes for Soles4Souls starting Friday, July 17th. Bring in a pair of old shoes to donate, and Rowan Sky will give you 30% off a new pair!

Rowan Sky is a collaboration of apparel, footwear, & accessories, with fashion-worthy brands like Alexander McQueen for Puma, Miss Sixty, Energie, Camper, Repetto, Sessun, Firetrap and Anastasia Lomonova.

This special runs till July 25th so if you live in Vancouver, start cleaning out those closets. Out with the old and in with the new! Rowan Sky is at #2-1026 Mainland Street.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Church Group Organizing Shoe Drive

A television commercial prompted Vicki Pemberton to think about people who have less than they need.

"The commercial was about Soles4Souls giving shoes to disaster victims or people living in extreme poverty," Pemberton said.

She took the idea to her women's group at Memorial Baptist Church.

They have organized a local shoe drive collection throughout the month of July. People are encouraged to donate new or gently used shoes and all sizes are accepted.

"We've had donations ranging from flip flops to snow boots," Pemberton said. "We've had a pretty good turnout so far."

A collection box is outside Memorial Baptist Church on state Highway 48 for people to drop off donations at their convenience.

"You know, people take for granted what we have. There are millions of people who do not have even one pair," said Pemberton, who urged local residents to clean out their closets and give barely worn shoes.

Shoes and boots donated by Clarksville neighbors will be distributed across the United States in homeless shelters, inner-city hospitals, domestic abuse shelters and summer camps for disadvantaged children.

"This is the first time our church group has done a large collection like this," Pemberton said. "But I know I have a lot more shoes than I really need, and many of them I don't even wear anymore.

"I bet there are a lot of people out there like me," she added. "We can help."