SOURCE: Soles4Souls Inc.

April 22, 2008 18:19 ET

Soles4Souls Donates Shoes to U.S. Marines for Distribution in Iraq

'Roughnecks' Company Hands Out Hundreds of Shoes to Needy Kids in War Zone

NASHVILLE, TN--(Marketwire - April 22, 2008) - Soles4Souls Inc., the international charity that collects and gives away shoes to needy people and victims of natural disasters, announced that a company of U.S. Marines recently donated hundreds of new shoes to impoverished children in Iraq. Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Dengler, of the "Roughnecks" team, recently sent photos and a report of the distribution to Soles4Souls.

"Thank you so much for the generous donation of children's sandals you sent to my combat advisor team in Ramadi," Dengler wrote. "Your thoughtfulness has helped so many needy children here; they have a brighter future because of you, and one that recognizes the friendship and generosity of Americans like yourselves," he said.

The team of U.S. Marines has served as combat advisors to the Iraqi soldiers in Ar Ramadi, Iraq since September. The 'Roughnecks' are comprised of 14 Marines and two Navy corpsmen from ten states. It is responsible for advising, mentoring and training the Iraqi Army. "Our days are busy, and thanks to the hard work of the Coalition Forces, the Iraqi people are enjoying peace," Dengler wrote.

"These soldiers didn't do it for political reasons; they did it because they recognized the tremendous need and requested our help to solve this particular issue," said Soles4Souls Founder and CEO, Wayne Elsey. "We are so proud that they would ask us to help them solve this simple problem and make life a little better for the kids who are stuck in the middle of the war," he said.

The charity is also inviting participation with "National Barefoot Week" (June 1 - June 7), a national campaign aimed to create a variety of grassroots events to increase footwear donations and funds to buy shoes for needy people and victims of natural disasters. Retailers, shoe companies, and individuals are signing up to create their own Barefoot Day promotion. "We are turning the reigns over to our supporters and publicizing their efforts, and we are looking for more partners around the world to continue this grassroots campaign," he said.

People interested in learning more about how to participate in National Barefoot Week can visit or call 866-521-SHOE (7463).

About Soles4Souls

Nashville-based Soles4Souls™ facilitates the donations of both new and used shoes, which are used to aid the hurting worldwide. The organization created National Barefoot Week, to be held during the first week of June each year, to encourage participation among individuals, companies, and civic groups. Since its inception, Soles4Souls has collected more than 3 million pairs (or one pair every 28 seconds) from shoe companies, retailers, and individuals. The shoes have been distributed in more than 60 countries, including Mexico, Honduras, Romania, Thailand, and the Sudan. Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS; donating parties are eligible for tax advantages.

Contact Information

    Christian Carmichael
    Soles4Souls Inc.
    Email Contact
    866-521-7463 ext 143