Soles4Souls, a not for profit global social enterprise committed to
fighting poverty through the collection and distribution of shoes and
clothing, is partnering with faith leaders and children's footwear
company Stride Rite for this year's Barefoot Week campaign.
The campaign kicks off Oct. 11 to 16.
“Barefoot Week is both a reminder of how many people in the world need shoes and a celebration of the giving spirit of so many great people and organizations who support Soles4Souls and believe in making a difference for those in need,” Soles4Souls CEO and President Buddy Teaster said. “Whether raising awareness by going barefoot, the selfless act of donating your own shoes, or helping to bridge the economic gap by providing a new pair of shoes, these all play an important part in our mission of wearing out poverty.”
Soles4Souls is working with churches to challenge members of their congregation to donate the shoes they wear to church on that day and leave barefoot as a gesture of good will. The gently used shoes from participating churches will be collected and sent to Soles4Souls where the shoes will support the organization's micro-enterprise programs, creating jobs and personal income in impoverished nations like Haiti, Honduras and the Philippines.
Barefoot Week continues October 12 – 16, as Soles4Souls partners with children's footwear company Stride Rite® to distribute 5,000 pairs of shoes to children in need in five cities across the United States. The cities and dates include:
- October 12 San Diego, Calif.
- October 13 Orlando, Fla.
- October 14 Baltimore, Md.
- October 15 Boston, Mass.
- October 16 Nashville, Tenn.
Soles4Souls is also teaming up with Stride Rite to collect gently used shoes through a national shoe donation campaign. From now until October 19, customers can donate outgrown or unwanted shoes at their nearest Stride Rite® retail location and receive a 25 percent discount on in-store purchases. Visit striderite.com/soles4souls to learn more.
Barefoot Week culminates on Friday, Oct. 16 with Barefoot4Them, the organization's fourth annual public awareness campaign. Soles4Souls is asking the public to join the cause by registering at www.barefoot4them.org. On Friday, October 16, participants are encouraged to post a picture of themselves going barefoot on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms with the hash tag #barefoot4them.
Barefoot4Them emphasizes the plight of the estimated 1.2 billion living on less than $1.25 per day who don't have access to adequate footwear. Without proper footwear, millions of children won't be able to attend school and tens of millions will become infected with soil-transmitted parasitic diseases like hookworm, causing lifelong debilitation and suffering.
More information is available at barefootsunday.org.