SOURCE: Soles4Souls Inc.

March 07, 2007 11:00 ET

Pittsburgh Teen Partners With Soles4Souls™ Inc. to Aid Homeless People With the Gift of Shoes

Physicians Also Offering Free Foot Screenings for Hundreds of Homeless People in Ten U.S. Cities

PITTSBUGH, PA and NASHVILLE, TN -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 7, 2007 -- Matt Conti, a 17-year-old high school senior from Pittsburgh, has witnessed firsthand the poor health of homeless people in his own community. Along with his father, Dr. Stephen Conti, an orthopaedic surgeon at Pittsburgh's Allegheny Hospital, he has volunteered to serve Pittsburgh's homeless in shelters and missions on several occasions. The experience inspired Matt and his father to create a unique non-profit organization called "Our Hearts to Your Soles."

"We were able to provide shoes to dozens of residents at Pittsburgh's Light of Life (a homeless shelter), and many were wearing shoes several sizes too small for their feet," Matt said. "They were extremely grateful after trying on the new shoes, and the experience inspired us to think even bigger and broaden this outreach to a national level."

Enter Soles4Souls, the international charity that collects and distributes new and gently worn shoes to needy people around the world. When Matt learned about the footwear charity, he contacted them to see if Soles4Souls could offer assistance for his vision.

"We were delighted to hear about what Matt and Dr. Conti were doing," said Wayne Elsey, Founder of Soles4Souls. "It's extremely important for us to support grassroots projects here in the United States because we send so many shoes overseas. The Contis are people of action that make a tangible difference in our own communities, and we are thrilled to partner with them to make an impact in our own backyard," Elsey said.

On Thursday, March 8, "Our Hearts to Your Soles" and Soles4Souls will be distributing more than 1,000 pairs of new shoes to homeless shelters in ten U.S. cities, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Charlotte, Minneapolis, Rochester, and others. The ultimate goal of the partnership between Soles4Souls and Hearts to Soles is to spread Matt's vision into other cities and eventually establish a nationwide presence.

"I would like to take the program into all 50 states," Matt said. "With the help of Soles4Souls, I know we can actually do it."

"Matt started this project as a school assignment and has taken it to new heights," said Dr. Conti. "This initiative has brought a much-needed service to the less fortunate population both in Pittsburgh and throughout the country, as I believe it is the only organization of its kind dedicated to improving the health of these individuals through the soles of their feet."

To receive more information about "Our Hearts to Your Soles," or to contact Matt and Dr. Conti, visit

About Soles4Souls

Nashville-based Soles4Souls™ facilitates the donations of shoes, which will be used to aid the hurting worldwide. Shoe companies, retailers, and individuals can donate footwear (both new and used). Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS; donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. Visit and or call (866) 521-SHOE.

Contact Information


    Chris Carmichael
    Director of Communications
    615-391-5723 ext 143

    Heather Holtschlag