Industry Comes Up Big for Soles4Souls

A little more than a week after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, footwear charity Soles4Souls had already collected 750,000 pairs of shoes from footwear companies and consumers across the country.

Soles4Souls CEO Wayne Elsey said Thursday that while the organization has committed 1 million shoes to the region, he expects donations to easily surpass that number.

“Americans are looking for a way to get plugged in, and we are offering them a simple solution,” Elsey said. “We are making a sustainable difference. It’s about helping them rebuild the country and get it back to some sort of order.”

To date, there are about 8,000 donation locations across the country, Elsey said, and the majority are footwear retailers. The nonprofit already has delivered about seven containers of shoes to Haiti, and has added more staff on the ground to coordinate the efforts as more shipments arrive.

Elsey said he expects Soles4Soul’s Haiti efforts to get another big boost following the Jan. 24 airing of “Extreme Makeover Home Edition,” during which the footwear group was featured.

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