Soles4Souls, an international footwear charity based right here in Nashville, is on a mission to impact as many lives as possible with the gift of shoes. Their slogan in fact is "Changing the World One Pair at a Time." Soles4Souls facilitates the donations of shoes, which are used to aid the hurting worldwide. It's a grassroots organization with collections sites in churches, schools, doctor's offices, and retail shoe stores. Just last week, Timberland and Soles4Souls announced a campaign to have collection sites in their stores with customers receiving a 10% discount with a donation.
To facilitate this mission further, Soles4Souls is promoting a National Barefoot Week, June 1-7, 2009. The kickoff for this nationwide event is June 1, which will National Barefoot Day. Actress Scarlett Johanssen, who recently donated 2000 pairs of shoes from her Reebok running line, will be serving as a spokesperson for this event. During this year's Barefoot Week, the charity will also donate more than 325,000 pairs of new sandals to needy people in five cities: New Orleans, Atlanta, Miami, Detroit, and Taylor, Arizona (Indian Reservation). The hope is that through this event, people will become engaged and invested in this charity.
Soles4Souls is taking an environmental approach to the subject also. A quote from their website stated, "A sad fact is that there are 300 million children in the world who have never owned a pair of shoes, while the same number of shoes were tossed into American landfills last year," he said. "We want to give people a reason to clean out their closets and help needy people while reducing the strain on our landfills at the same time," Elsey said.
Soles4Souls website is http://www.giveshoes.org/ and I recommend you check the site before you finish your spring cleaning or next time your clean out your closet.