NEW YORK — Footwear charity Soles4Souls, based in Nashville, Tenn., announced plans to partner with Opry Mills, a Nashville mall, to host a holiday shoe drive that will create the “World’s Largest Tower of Shoes.”
The drive will begin Nov. 5 and culminate on New Year’s Eve, Soles4Souls said in a Thursday statement. Throughout the holidays, shoppers can check the drive’s progress via clear panels installed in the Tower’s sides. The idea for the project was inspired by a letter Soles4Souls received earlier this year from a young boy, Joseph Wells, who held his own shoe drive last year.
Both Soles4Souls and Opry Mills are asking locals and visitors to come to the mall during the holidays to help those in need around the world. Donors can contribute a pair of new or gently worn shoes, and in turn receive a discount incentive on new merchandise at participating stores. Each store will collect the shoes and each week they will be added to the tower.
In addition, merchants will offer the Soles4Souls “2-6-10: It’s Good for the Sole” program. It offers a $2 cash donation for one pair of new shoes; $6 will purchase three pairs of new shoes; and a $10 donation will provide five pairs for those in need.
“This is a creative and effective way for us to spread the message of our organization,” said Soles4Souls founder and CEO Wayne Elsey in the statement. “The amount of support we’ve received from local businesses and individuals has been incredible, and with their help, we are looking forward to breaking the world record for the most shoes in a single event.”