Soles4Souls, The International Shoe Charity, Kicks Off National Barefoot Week

The shoe charity rolls out event plans celebrity support to encourage the public to go barefoot

NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Soles4Souls announced its schedule for Barefoot Week 2011 today, which includes media events and shoe distributions in seven cities. As it does each year during the first week of June, the non-profit organization will be distributing thousands of pairs of new shoes in the United States while it also collects much needed donations through shoe drives at schools, churches and community centers. The charity is asking Americans to choose one day during the week to go barefoot–at the office, at school or in public– to raise awareness for the millions of people worldwide who live in extreme poverty and can’t afford shoes.

Barefoot week will begin on June 1st with “National Barefoot Day.” The first shoe distribution will be held in Detroit, with events in Boston, St. Louis, L.A., Atlanta, and Newark to follow. StubHub and Ebay are also hosting a Take Off Your Boots event in San Francisco on June 5th, and individuals who bring a pair of shoes to the Hard Rock Cafe will receive a free pair of U2 tickets (quantities are limited, first come, first serve basis) for the show the following evening.
“Barefoot Sunday” (June 5th) offers unique opportunities for congregations to remove their shoes and walk out of worship services barefoot. The efforts of participating congregations will help put shoes on the feet of the 300 million children around the world don’t own a single pair of shoes. Northstar Church in Atlanta will host Soles4Souls Founder and CEO Wayne Elsey that morning to go barefoot on stage and talk about the importance of shoes in developing nations.

“We want to invite people to join hundreds of thousands of Soles4Souls supporters around the world to participate in Barefoot Week,” said Mr. Elsey. “Anyone can make a difference to someone in need by starting their own shoe drive, cleaning out their closet, sending us a new pair of shoes or making a simple monetary donation. Our charity thrives on the active involvement of everyday people making the decision to step up and help less fortunate people, both here in the United States and around the world,” he added.

Celebrities are also lending their support of Barefoot Week by donating their shoes for a celebrity shoe auction starting June 1st on the auction site Stars like Sarah Jessica Parker, Elton John, the Kardashian sisters, Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton, TODAY show cast, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Jimmy Fallon, Chelsea Handler, and others donated their shoes to be auctioned off with proceeds benefitting the charity.

“You know you’re NEVER gonna wear those shoes that are sitting in your closet. The ones you don’t even consider anymore; they’re just there to make it look like you’ve got a lot of shoes… It’s time for them to go. Let someone else walk in your shoes. Donate your shoes to Soles4Souls and help some of the millions of children around the world in need. It takes 2 seconds and you’ll feel good all day. I promise.” Zach Braff

“300 million kids go barefoot every day because they don’t have shoes. Let’s do all we can to fix this. Souls4Souls is an amazing organization and I encourage everyone to help out as much as they can, whether it’s donating your time, your shoes, or just going barefoot for a day to promote awareness of this grave problem.” – Joshua Radin

“It is easy to support charities like Soles4Souls that help children of all cultures. Monies raised pay for expensive shipping and even a small donation of $5 for new shoes will help those children who are battling life’s problems and need a positive step up.” –Donald Faison

“It’s an honor to donate shoes to help Soles4Souls as they do incredible things for the less fortunate people in this world. I encourage everyone to lend support.” Jessica Simpson

“I’ve got sole but I’m not a soldier. However, with Soles 4 Souls I am helping to fight the war against poverty in my own small way by giving to those in need.” Perez Hilton

“Hosting a small shoe drive during Barefoot Week is a great way for everyone to participate in giving back. Many of us are fortunate to have what we need but many families are in need during this tough economic time. The gift of shoes is a simple way to help erase the stigma of poverty.”
Sean Avery, New York Rangers

Get more information about how you can get involved, visit
Religious organizations can learn more about Barefoot Sunday at

About Soles4Souls®, Clothes4Souls®, and Hope4Souls™
Soles4Souls collects new shoes to give relief to the victims of abject suffering and collects used shoes to support micro-enterprise efforts to eradicate poverty. Soles4Souls’ other two divisions, Clothes4Souls and Hope4Souls, provide the same relief and support through clothing and other necessities. Donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. Visit,, or for more information.

SOURCE Soles4Souls

Day 3 of 30 Days/30 Ways ~~~WE COULD ALL USE a LITTLE SOUL~~~

While our basements burst at the seams, millions of people around the world and in our own communities struggle for even the basic necessities. According to the 2007 U.S. Census Bureau statistics, over 37 million people in the United States live below the poverty line. That’s a shocking 12.5 percent of the population who don’t have enough money to cover food and shelter, much less “extras” like clothing, transportation, school supplies, and household essentials.

Today’s Action – Donate Shoes.

When Wayne Elsey, a shoe company executive, watched news reports following the horrendous 2004 Asian tsunami, one image in particular haunted him—that of a single shoe washed ashore in the disaster’s grim aftermath. Wayne, started Soles4Souls (, which collects gently used shoes and distributes them to areas struck by natural disasters, to shelters, and to other facilities or groups that serve people and communities in need. There are over 1.5 billion pairs of unused shoes lying in the dark recesses of our closets.
Use them or lose them! Send your shoes to

Reuse a Shoe

Nike’s Reuse a Shoe ( program will turn your old, stinky running shoes (of any brand) into surface material for playgrounds, basketball courts, or running tracks. The program helps eliminate waste by finding a use for millions of pairs otherwise unusable athletic shoes—any brand, any condition. Mail in or take your worn-out sneakers to the nearest Reuse a Shoe drop-off point at participating Nike stores.

Don’t Forget Our GIVEAWAY!!!
~ This month, Everyday Philanthropist will shine the spotlight on volunteers. Go to our Facebook page to share your personal stories, read firsthand testimonials from current volunteers and be inspired by the “30 Days/30 Ways” tips on how to lend a helping hand.

A prize pack, including signed copies of How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist : 330 Ways to Make a Difference in your Home, Community and World – At no Cost! (Workman, 2009) will be awarded to people doing good across the country.

In addition, you will be featured on Everyday Philanthropist’s blog and may be featured in an upcoming book. Here’s how to enter. Share your personal way of how you like to give back (no matter how grand or slight) at our Facebook Fan Page. Its that easy!

5 Winners will be chosen radomly and contacted after the contest closes on April 30th.

Also: Be sure to follow us on Twitter for more quick tips on giving back!