Saturday, January 23, 2010

Gently used shoes: Changing the World One Pair at a Time

The Mason Companies, Inc. of Chippewa Falls have collected 800 pairs of shoes and more than 300 apparel items which they are donating to the victims of the Haiti earthquake. Mason Companies Inc., has teamed with Soles4Souls, a group that distribute shoe donations to people in need. Soles4Soul is an international shoe charity founded five years ago after the Asian tsunami. Founded by Wayne Elsey in Nashville, Tenn., after he saw TV coverage of the Southeast Asian disaster. The image of a single shoe washed up on a beach was enough for him to contact other executives in the footwear industry and between them, they collected a quarter-million new shoes and shipped them to Southeast Asia. The same group of friends and colleagues did the same thing a year later when Katrina hit the Gulf Coast states. That was when Soles4Souls was born and the company's motto is "Changing the World One Pair at a Time." Currently the shoe charity has committed 250,000 pairs of shoes to Haiti with plans for one million pairs of new boots and shoes for survivors. The group is also collecting apparel, blankets and other items to give to the earthquake victims. Shoe companies, retailers, and individuals can donate footwear (new and used) by going to Soles4Souls. There are three Soles4Souls warehouses, where shoes are cleaned, sorted and distributed. Warehouse workers make sure that shoes are sorted according to the climate to which they will be sent.

"Gently used" is the term used to define second hand footwear which is still wearable, with heels intact and without holes in the soles.

Haiti Earthquake Appeals
World Vision Australia

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