Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Reach Out

I came across this article in a great new magazine called Boho
With all of the avid shoppers and 'shoe-collectors' in Kuwait, it seems plausible that there would be many shoes that could be donated. Anyway, maybe folks could pass the website along. Many of us are so fortunate and never even give pause to realize it. Sometimes it takes very little to give a lot.

soles4SOULS

earth angels soles4souls

With over 300 million children without shoes, see how one company is changing the world, one shoe at a time.

how you can help

It's a simple concept: get shoes and give them away. That's what Soles4Souls founderWayne Elsey did after the Tsunami hit. While watching television at home one night, Elsey was moved by an image of a single shoe washing up on the beach. That ignited a flame inside him. After a few calls to some friends in the footwear industry, Elsey secured a donation of over a quarter million shoes to send to the victims. A year later, when Hurricane Katrina hit, Elsey called up the same group of friends and over 1 million pairs of shoes were delivered to towns along the gulf coast. Elsey admits that he could not have predicted such a successful turnout, and it left him wondering, why not do this full-time? A year later, Elsey left his executive position at a large footwear company and formed Soles4Souls. As for today, Elsey says he wants to inspire others to say "Hey, wait a minute! I can do something like that with my own resources."

Or, at the very least, "I could send them my shoes that are cluttering up the closet." We know that there are plenty of people in the world that could use them.

Soles4Souls have given away 2.6 million pairs of shoes since they started; that translates into one pair every 28 seconds. www.giveshoes.org

illustration by barbara von tannenberg

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