SOURCE: Soles4Souls Inc.

April 22, 2008 18:11 ET

Soles4Souls Encourages Shoe Recycling on Earth Day... and Beyond

Footwear Charity Invites Continued Participation With Series of Programs Aimed at Individuals, Retailers, Shoe Companies, and Corporations

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, is celebrating April 22 (Earth Day) with a variety of programs and collection events. But it doesn't stop with Earth Day. "We feel it's very important to let people know that we are here 365 days a year and we will always need your footwear," said Wayne Elsey, Founder and CEO of the Nashville-based 501(c)(3) organization. "Far too many pairs of perfectly good shoes end up in our landfills when they could benefit someone in need. We have made it our mission to find a pair of thankful feet for your gently-worn shoes," he said.

According to Elsey and news reports, the charity recently announced a partnership with 24 Hour Fitness, the popular chain of health and fitness clubs. "This is a very exciting partnership with 24 Hour Fitness, where all 71 clubs in Texas are collecting shoes for us until the end of National Barefoot Week. And while 24 Hour Fitness's collection begins today, on Earth Day, it continues for six weeks with the culmination of Barefoot Week on June 7," Elsey said.

National Barefoot Week (Sunday, June 1 through Saturday, June 7), was created by the charity to give millions of people a chance to participate together in raising shoe donations, funds to buy new shoes, and come together as a community to help provide a simple, yet vital, resource for millions of needy people around the world.

The shoe charity has collected 3.2 million pairs of shoes in its short existence, and has picked up endorsements from a variety of celebrities, including Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Alba, Don Cheadle, Billy Joel, and more. "While the celebrity endorsements are very nice," Elsey said, "we are just as elated when regular people take the time and effort to collect hundreds -- even thousands -- of pairs of shoes on our behalf," he said.

According to Elsey, retailers, shoe companies, individuals and churches and synagogues are signing up in large numbers 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 the Earth Day celebrations or how to get involved with 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. The charity has been featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, ABC News, FOX, CBS, and hundreds of regional outlets around North America. 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

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