Soles4Souls is launching its “Barefoot Week” campaign on Oct. 11 through Oct. 16, to fight poverty and raise awareness through shoe collections and distributions. The event will take place across the U.S. and Canada.
“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,” said CEO and president Buddy Teaster. “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.”
Beginning on Oct. 11, Soles4Souls kicks off Barefoot Sunday, where it works with churches to challenge members of their congregations to donate the shoes they wear to church that dray and leave barefoot as a gesture of good will. The gently worn shoes from participating churches will be collected and sent to Soles4Souls where they will be used to support the organization’s micro-enterprise programs, creating jobs and personal income in impoverished nations such as Haiti, Honduras and The Philippines.
Barefoot Week then continues on Oct. 12, when Stride Rite partners with Soles4Souls to distribute 5,000 pairs of shoes to children in need in five cities across the U.S. that include San Diego, Calif., on Oct. 12; Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 13; Baltimore on Oct. 14; Boston on Oct. 15 and Nasvhille on Oct. 16.
The organization is also teaming up with Stride Rite to collect gently used shoes through a national shoe donation campaign. Now through Oct. 19, customers can donate outgrown or unwanted shoes at their nearest StrideRite store and receive a 25 percent discount on in-store purchases. Additionally, on Oct. 16 participants can post a photo of themselves going barefoot on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms with the hashtag #barefoot4them.