Posts Tagged ‘Soles4Souls’

Barefoot Week With Soles4Souls 2011 – How You Can Participate

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Today, marks the beginning of Soles4Souls’ National Barefoot Week 2011. In short, it’s a week where thousands of people across the country are joining the cause, raising awareness about the millions of people, world-wide that go barefoot, and doing something about it. As a part of the week, Soles4Souls is distributing over 50,000 pairs of shoes in several cities across the United States.

As many of you know, I traveled with Soles4Souls in January 2011 to distribute shoes to children in Haiti. It was absolutely a life-changing experience.   As I see it, with most charities, your funds go in their doors and you never realize the impact your support may provide.  This is how Soles4Souls is unique as a charity.  With the Travel4Souls opportunity, I was able to experience the extreme need in Haiti.  Not simply through photos, or a video, but I was there!  I gave sweat equity in carrying shoe boxes to the distribution sites, I jumped rope with children living in orphanages, and I washed the feet of children who received shoes from Soles4Souls.  I participated in making a difference and I was a direct witness how they’re impacting and changing lives.  I look forward to going back.  I plan to travel again in January 2012 with a group of professional organizers.

Although this video doesn’t really do it justice, it does capture the need for shoes and the joy of the people that receive them:

If you’ve ever wanted to be a part of something greater than yourself, I highly encourage you to think about going on a trip. You can find out complete information as well as a list of their upcoming trips by visiting their website.

Visiting the Soles4Souls blog, I was able to read about their exiting events for Barefoot week.  Here’s just a few.

National Barefoot Day,” which will take place on Wednesday, June 1, 2011, will kick off various events across the country.Our first U.S. distribution of 2011 Barefoot Week will take place in Detroit.

On “Barefoot Thursday,” June 2, Soles4Souls Founder & CEO Wayne Elsey and staff will go barefoot as well as challenge all members of the press to go barefoot for at least four consecutive hours during the week and report on its effects to their viewers. Thursday’s distribution will be happening in St. Louis.

For “Barefoot Friday,”  June 3, folks in need in the Boston area will receive shoes.

Barefoot Saturday” and “Barefoot Sunday,” June 4 and 5, offers unique opportunities for congregations to remove their shoes and walk out of worship services barefoot. The efforts of participating congregations will go toward helping put shoes on the feet of barefoot children around the world. Visit www.barefootsunday.com to learn more.

On “Barefoot Monday,” June 6, we will be in Los Angeles delivering shoes and on “Barefoot Tuesday,” June 7th, we will head south to Atlanta to deliver footwear.

THIS WEEK, I would challenge you to tell at least one person about Soles4Souls. They’ve even provided you with a list of 10 ways you can help spread the word about the 300 million children around the world who’ve never owned a pair of shoes.

Which will you do? Please share your selection in the comments section below and join me and Soles4Souls to accomplish their mission of changing the world, one pair at a time.

I’m Hoarding Shoes for Charity and I Need Your Help!

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Many of you know that I traveled to Haiti in January with the amazing non-profit charity Soles4Souls to help distribute shoes to children.  Experiencing life in Haiti with these beautiful people was truly heartbreaking.

It was also a life changing experience.  Upon returning to DC, I started collecting shoes for Soles4Souls.  It was my hope to do a city wide shoe collection and involve schools, churches and neighborhood groups.  However, my massive  shoe collection has come to a screeching halt because neither myself or Soles4Souls were able to secure a storage location where  community groups could drop off the shoes they collected.

Wait, where's my living room?


WUSA9
digital correspondent, Linsdey Mastis did a story on the evening news on March 7th.  Although the news story didn’t help secure a storage location, many people brought me more shoes.  I now have over 6,000 pairs of shoes in my condo.  That’s why the news called me a hoarder.  I guess if I’m going to hoard it might as well be for a good cause.

Please watch the news video and leave a comment if you have any last minute connections that can help secure a drop off location.  If not, I’ll be shipping the shoes off to the Soles4Souls warehouse before the end of March.

To see the full news story, please visit WUSA9

I was featured on 9NEWS NOW in August 2010 when I collected more than 650 pair of blue jeans to make insulation for Habitat for Humanity.

So much for a dining room table!

Changing Lives With Shoes and Soles4Souls

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Dear friends and clients,

As many of you know, tomorrow (January 5, 2011) I am headed to Haiti, forgoing a typical winter vacation, so I can distribute shoes to orphans.  I’m traveling with the amazing organization, Soles4Souls, an international shoe charity that collects, recycles and reuses shoes from footwear companies and the general public.

While in Haiti, we will be staying at the Haiti Outreach Ministries (HOM) compound in Port-au-Prince (PAP).   We will visit Cite Soleil, a suburb of PAP, noted as the poorest slum in the entire Western Hemisphere.  Poverty here is indescribable.  There are no public services, and the roads are barely passable.

Nearly 300,000 people live in the area of approximately 2 square miles.  The area is viewed as a difficult place to work; hence few non-government organizations, or other services are available here.

This is a typical street in Blanchard

Next we’ll visit Blachard (“New Land”), another suburb of PAP, located directly north of Cite Soleil closest to the PAP airport.  It is the home to about 200,000 and is growing.  We’ll also visit Ibo Beach, a small rural community of about 15,000 people, located 25km northwest of PAP.   Finally, we’ll visit Repatriote, the newest community being built on former cropland, with the primary intention to house Haitians returning (displaced) from the Dominican Republic.

While at HOM, we’ll have about eight hours of electricity each day, powered by 23 solar panels.  There is no refrigeration, air conditioning, indoor bathroom, or hot water.  We will stay in the second floor of the school building, which was not damaged in the earthquake, which occurred on Jan 12, 2009.  Although the conditions will be different than what I’m used to, I’ll have no room to complain.

Our itinerary will be as follows:

Day 1 – I leave DC at around 7 AM, fly to Miami where I’ll meet the other volunteers.  Together we’ll board a flight to Haiti, arriving at 4 PM.  We’ll board a bus, travel to HOM, eat dinner, gather for a team meeting and crawl into our bunks for bed.

Day 2 – After breakfast, we’ll have our first distribution in Blanchard for school-aged children.  Following lunch we’ll have a second shoe distribution, but this one will be for infants.  We’ll board a ‘tap-taps’ for a ride through downtown PAP and to view the Presidential Place.  Following dinner and a team meeting, I’m sure our volunteer team will pass out from exhaustion.

Tap-taps are basically, local public transportation on four wheels.  It might be a former school bus, or a pick up truck.  They can be painted with beautiful exteriors, religious slogans, or have loud sound systems inside.  I wonder what we’ll be riding on.

Day 3 – Following a breakfast of muffins, fruit and coffee, we’ll travel to Cite Soleil for our third shoe distribution.  We’ll be working with kids in first – third grade.  After lunch, we’ll give shoes to adults in Cite Soleil.  Following the distributions we’ll take a bus trip through the mountains and have the opportunity to buy some gifts.

Day 4 – We’ll actually visit the beach community where we will have lunch and spend time playing with the orphans.  I’m taking several toys I can leave for the children.  I’ve heard from many people the beaches in Haiti are breathtaking.  This will be the first time I’ve been to a beach other then one in Florida, California, or Delaware.

Day 5 – We’ll conclude our trip early in the morning and depart for the airport around 8 AM.  I’ll be back in DC about 12 hours later.

I look forward to sharing more of my experience with you.  It’s through the generous donations of friends, family and my clients that I am able to take this trip and provide shoes to so many people in need.

Shoes stored in the Soles4Souls Warehouse

If you’ve not donated you can still help. First, a simple click here will take you online where you can donate any tax-deductible amount you see fit.  For every $1 donated = 1 person will receive a pair of shoes.  Maybe if you have 10 pairs of shoes, you donate $10.  Or perhaps you donate the amount of your most expensive pair of shoes in your closet?  Visit this fund-raising page to help me reach my goal of touching thousands of souls.

Shoes stored in my condo - You might think I was a hoarder.

Finally, I officially kick off a Soles4Souls shoe drive in the DC, Maryland, Virginia area in late January. I’ve started collecting from clients and friends, and as you can see my condo is overrun with shoes. I hope you’ll donate your unwanted footwear to my collection and volunteer if you’re able to assist.

Thank you for your support of this mission. I couldn’t do it without you.

Warm regards,

Scott

Soles4Souls distributes usable shoes to people in need around the world. Since being founded in 2005 by Wayne Elsey (CEO), Soles4Souls has given away more than 12 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes (currently distributing one pair every 7 seconds). The shoes have been distributed in 125 countries, including Haiti, Kenya, Nepal and the United States.