Payless ShoeSource announced more than 700 non-profit organizations from all 50 States and the District of Columbia, across Canada and Puerto Rico and in 10 Latin American and Caribbean countries will join the retailer in its fourth annual Payless Gives Shoes 4 Kids program, a grass-roots effort aimed at giving more than $1.2 million in free shoes to children of families in need this holiday season.
Including this year, Payless will have given $4.6 million in free shoes to children in need through the Payless Gives annual giving campaign, bringing holiday joy to nearly 300,000 children of families in need. This program is unique among other shoe drives and giving programs because the children are able to come to a Payless store to shop and be fitted for their own shoes, and walk away with new shoes.
This year, Payless will give more than 60,000 free shoe coupons, an average of 88 coupons each, to its more than 700 charity partners to deliver to those they serve. The coupons are redeemable towards a new pair of kids' shoes through Feb. 29, 2012, at any of Payless' more than 4,000 stores located across North America, and through Dec. 31, 2011, at stores in Latin American and the Caribbean including in the Dominican Republic, Trinidad & Tobago, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua and Colombia.
“For many families, the need for a new pair of shoes is a fun, quick trip to the store, but for others it is a financial burden and an impossible expense,” said LuAnn Via, CEO and president of Payless. “And we are here to help. In this season of giving we want as many children as possible to experience the simple joy of a shoe-shopping trip and new pair of shoes. We want them to walk into one of our stores, see the amazing range of styles available, and walk out with the pair that makes them smile.”
Partnering with localized non-profits is an important feature of the Payless Gives Shoes 4 Kids program as it helps Payless more directly and immediately reach those in need. For the 2011 program, Payless received more than 3,100 applications from charitable partners; about 85 percent of the charities chosen this year are returning partners that have joined Payless in the Payless Gives initiative over the past years. To get the coupons to the children in need in time for the holidays, each non-profit partner will receive the free shoe coupons later this week in special packages from Payless. Some of the non-profit partners also take additional measures for the families including organizing transportation for group shopping trips to the local Payless store. To see the list of the more than 700 selected 2011 Payless Gives non-profit partners by region, state or city please visit www.paylessgives.com.
Payless initiated the Payless Gives Shoes 4 Kids program in 2008 in response to the economic crisis, its impact on the underprivileged, the significant need across the United States for children's shoes, and to support smaller, localized non-profits with a tool to assist them in helping those in need during the holidays. Payless first launched the program domestically and later, in 2009, extended the program beyond the U.S. to reach families in Canada, Puerto Rico and in 10 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean.
Additional Payless Giving Programs
Payless is also continuing The Good Shoe Project through the end of 2011. Whenever a customer purchases the exclusive Airwalk Hope shoe starting at $19.99 at Payless stores and Payless.com, the retailer commits to giving a free pair of kids' shoes to a child in need in Central America through an alliance with humanitarian organization World Vision. Since launching the program last holiday season, through this buy-one-give-one program, Payless will deliver more than 250,000 pairs to children in need in El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Overall, a total of 400,000 pairs are expected to be donated through The Good Shoe Project. Over the past eight years, the Payless Embrace the Cause program has raised nearly $4 million donated to Susan G. Komen for the CureÂ® and dedicated to the fight against breast cancer. Payless is proud to be a member of Komen's “Million Dollar Council.” These are just a few of the giving programs sponsored by Payless and Collective Brands, Inc.