SOURCE: Soles4Souls Inc.

February 03, 2007 17:19 ET

Soles4Souls Inc. Delivering Emergency Footwear to Victims of Florida Tornadoes

Shoe Charity Will Have 6,000 Shoes on the Ground by Sunday Evening

ORLANDO, FL and NASHVILLE, TN and LAS VEGAS, NV -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 3, 2007 -- Soles4Souls Inc., the international charity dedicated to providing free footwear to people in need, announced today that they are delivering more than 6,000 pairs of shoes to victims of the tornadoes in central Florida. The tornadoes tore through four counties early Friday morning, killing at least 20 people, including three children.

"These tornadoes affected communities along an 80-mile swath of destruction," said Wayne Elsey, Founder of Soles4Souls and President of Kodiak-Terra USA Inc. "We need to act quickly so that people have access to footwear, and we will sustain a presence in the area for as long as it takes to ensure that we distribute shoes to everyone who needs them," he said.

According to Paul Wilson, President of Soles4Souls, several members of the Soles4Souls team will be in Lake County by Sunday evening to distribute the shoes to the hardest hit areas. "This tragedy touches our hearts and our goal is to react within 24 hours," Wilson said. "FEMA and aid groups are distributing food, water, blankets, and ice, which is the primary concern for people in the area. We know from experience that within a week of such a disaster, it's the little things -- such as missing shoes -- that begin to take a toll on disaster victims," Wilson said. "Our purpose is to reach out to these people and take care of the little things."

In Lake County alone, more than 1,500 homes were destroyed and thousands more were damaged. Most of the donated shoes are rugged outdoor and work boot styles to help people avoid puncture injuries from debris and fallen trees. Several footwear companies have offered to pitch in to assist Soles4Souls in delivering shoes to people in the region.

One such company is Deckers Outdoor Corporation, manufacturers of Teva, Ugg Australia, and Simple Shoes. Soles4Souls is receiving hundreds of pairs of Teva outdoor performance shoes, which have been specifically designated for people in central Florida.

"With such a small effort on our part, how can we not become involved when presented with this great opportunity to make an impact on those who are less fortunate than ourselves," said President and CEO Angel Martinez. "Deckers, along with our retail partners, is proud to support Soles4Souls in this initiative," Martinez said.

"It's remarkable that the footwear industry can get behind an initiative such as this to help people in their time of need," said Diane Stone, Chief Operating Officer of the WSA Show. "Because this tragedy occurred during the WSA Show -- when all the footwear companies come together -- Soles4Souls was able to connect the dots and get this project finalized with remarkable speed, " she said.

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 or call (888) 840-7074.

Contact Information

    Chris Carmichael
    Director of Communications