Soles4Souls Donates 7 Million Pairs of Used Shoes to People in Need

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Soles4Souls Donates 7 Million Pairs of Used Shoes to People in Need

Donate your used shoes to someone in need through Soles4Souls!
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Soles4Souls Donates 7 Million Pairs of Used Shoes to People in Need
Saturday, February 27, 2010 - 10:00am


How many pairs of shoes do you have just sitting in your closet? Don't throw them away - donate your used shoes to someone in need through Soles4Souls!

Soles4Souls has a simple mission: to collect shoes and give them away. According to them, in the last year alone, Americans discarded over 300 million pairs of shoes, which end up in landfills and leach toxic glues into our water supplies and surrounding environment. So what better way to reduce the impact of these discarded shoes than to give them a new life on someone else's feet?What began as a small team effort to give shoes to those without after the Hurricane Katrina disaster has since snowballed into a huge project which is making a difference in people's lives around the world. The realization that the need for shoes goes beyond those affected by disasters has changed their focus: initially called, the organization is now Soles4Souls, which has since distributed over 7 million pairs of free shoes in 125 countries.

"In the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami that hit Southeast Asia, Wayne Elsey, the Founder and CEO of Soles4SoulsĀ® Inc., felt compelled to do something. Like many of us, he did not know what to do. He was at home one night, watching TV and he saw a picture of a single shoe washing up on the beach. That triggered a few calls to some other executives in the footwear industry and the subsequent donation of a quarter of a million shoes to victims in the devastated countries.

A year later when Katrina hit, Wayne called the same group of friends, and they sent over a million pairs of shoes down to the gulf coast communities affected by the hurricane. In all honesty, he admits that he did not expect such an immediate and successful turnout. This left him wondering, why not start a non-profit and do this all the time? One year later, Soles4Souls was formally created."

Soles4Souls, a Nashville-based charity, works with footwear companies and retailers, as well as individuals, schools, churches, and civic groups, to collect donations of 'gently used' shoes and distribute them where most needed. Every 9 seconds, another pair of shoes from Soles4Souls gets distributed in countries such as Haiti, Nepal, Kenya, Mexico, and the US.

Recently, Soles4Souls committed to distributing one million pairs of shoes to Haiti's earthquake victims due to the incredibly generous response from the shoe industry and the general public. In the first three days, over a quarter of a million pairs were pledged by shoe companies, and thousands of individuals have organized donation drives for not only shoes, but also for funding, clothes, and other needed supplies for the people of Haiti.

Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS and donations are eligible for tax advantages. Find out where you can donate to Soles4Souls today. is dedicated to our users. We focus our attention on changing the world through recycling, waste-to-energy and conservation. We reward our users for their sustainable behaviors on our website, through our Greenopolis Tracking Stations and with curbside recycling programs.


Keywords: Charities | clothing donations | shoes | soles4souls