Soles4Souls® Inc. Rushing Aid to Earthquake Survivors in Haiti

January 15, 2010

Shoe Charity Partnering with Senator Bill Frist, M.D. and others to help provide emergency assistance and 100,000 pairs of new shoes

Nashville, TN — Soles4Souls Inc., the shoe charity, announced their commitment to provide 100,000 pairs of new shoes to victims of the January 12 earthquake in Haiti. The 7.0 earthquake has killed more than 100,000 people, according to recent news reports, with several estimates as high as 500,000 people killed.

In partnership with several other aid organizations, Soles4Souls is sending emergency aid that includes footwear, food, medical supplies, bottled water, tents, blankets, baby products and more.

The charity continues to receive generous support from the general public, as well as its longstanding partners in the footwear industry. One such partner is Foot Solutions, which has 220 locations throughout the United States and announced its plans to raise funds and shoes for Soles4Souls.

“Foot Solutions is working aggressively with Soles4Souls to help our Haitian neighbors in this terrible disaster,” said Ray Margiano, CEO of Foot Solutions. “I have been to this country in the past and am very well aware of the level of poverty that exists and the shortage of supplies that are difficult on a normal level and this is especially hard on this struggling country,” he said.

Soles4Souls has also secured the important assistance of U.S. Senate Majority Leader (Ret.) Bill Frist of Tennessee, who is working with Soles4Souls through his charity, Hope Through Healing Hands.

“In the wake of this natural disaster, shoes are of paramount importance to begin the difficult work of rebuilding Port-au-Prince and the areas beyond,” said Dr. Frist. “We are proud to support Soles4Souls’ efforts to bring relief to the poorest country in the western hemisphere wracked by one of the most devastating earthquakes in the last two centuries.”

The Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, and many surrounding villages were devastated by the largest earthquake to strike in over 200 years. News reports are painting a terrifying picture of death and disorder among a people already devastated by poverty and natural disaster.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragedy unfolding in Haiti,” said Wayne Elsey, Founder and CEO of Soles4Souls. “This is going to require a sustained humanitarian effort from all of us who can give, and Soles4Souls will be here to do our part with the gift of shoes to aid in the rescue and rebuilding process,” he said.

Elsey said that his organization has received truckloads of work boots, rain boots, children’s athletic shoes, sport sandals, socks and other accessories to be delivered as soon as possible to aid centers in Haiti. The general public can donate by visiting www.giveshoes.org to find a donation center nearby or to make a cash donation online.

“Our partners on the ground in Haiti are setting up aid centers to be able to effectively distribute aid as needed,” said Elsey. “It’s extremely important to work together with all aid organizations to present as orderly and effective a process as possible in such a chaotic situation,” he said.

According to Elsey, a pair of decent shoes is absolutely necessary in order to participate effectively in rescue and rebuilding efforts among broken glass, twisted metal and raw sewage.

“We are responding to a disaster, but we know this will be a long and difficult process,” Elsey said. “This is why we’re committing 100,000 pairs so that the survivors and volunteers will have our resources throughout the rebuilding efforts,” he said.

For more information on how to get involved and donate to the victims in Haiti, visit www.giveshoes.org.

About Soles4Souls®
Soles4Souls is a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people like you. We distribute these shoes, free of charge, to people in need around the world. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away over 7 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes (currently distributing one pair every 9 seconds). The shoes have been distributed in 125 countries, including Haiti, Kenya, Nepal and the United States. Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS and donating parties are eligible for tax advantages.