SOURCE: Soles4Souls Inc.

May 09, 2008 15:03 ET

Soles4Souls™ Inc. Ready to Celebrate Barefoot Sunday

Bellevue Community Church Steps Up to Kick Off Nationwide Week of Events, Beginning With Barefoot Sunday on June 1, 2008

NASHVILLE, TN--(Marketwire - May 9, 2008) - Bellevue Community Church announced this week that it is supporting Barefoot Sunday, a grassroots campaign launched by international shoe charity Soles4Souls™ Inc. Soles4Souls, based in Nashville, collects and distributes new and gently worn shoes to underprivileged people in the United States and around the world.

June 1 is Barefoot Sunday, the first of seven celebrated days of National Barefoot Week. Barefoot Week was created by Soles4Souls, Inc. to encourage more people to participate in a series of events, such as walkathons, marathons, concerts, and retail trade-in events, held each year during the first week of June.

Barefoot Sunday aims to help the over 300 million children around the world who don't own a single pair of shoes. It is a unique opportunity to encourage congregations to take off their shoes and walk out of worship services barefoot. Hundreds of organizations across the United States have invited members to leave their shoes on the altar in order to demonstrate God's love to hurting people across the world with the gift of footwear. The process is simple; the message from the service will have lasting effects.

Bellevue Community Church's senior pastor, David Perez, notes that Barefoot Sunday is the type of grassroots campaign that his congregation will support in a major way. "The people at this church have huge hearts for missions and making a tangible difference in someone's life," Perez said. "Shoes are a simple commodity that we all take for granted, and by donating the shoes right off our feet, we hope to inspire our community to get involved in helping less fortunate people in our community, as well as around the world."

"Hundreds of thousands of compassionate church members -- like the ones at Bellevue Community Church -- are helping transform our charity's goals into reality," said Wayne Elsey, Founder and CEO of Soles4Souls. "Raising awareness is a good thing, but for people to truly 'own' our charity, we need to give them chances to personally participate in our mission, and Barefoot Week is designed to do that," Elsey said.

This touching event will not only leave a mark on the heart of the entire congregation, but it also helps Soles4Souls continue their mission of "Changing the World One Pair at a Time™."

During this year's Barefoot Week, the charity will donate more than 325,000 pairs of new shoes to needy people in five cities: New Orleans, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago and Taylor, Arizona (Indian Reservation).

To learn more about Barefoot Sunday and the events planned for Barefoot Week 2008, visit www.giveshoes.org

More About Soles4Souls, Inc.

Nashville-based Soles4Souls facilitates the donations of footwear, which are used to aid the hurting worldwide. Soles4Souls has donated more than 3 million pairs of shoes since its inception (one pair of shoes every 28 seconds). The charity was recently featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Shoe companies, retailers, and individuals can donate both new and gently worn footwear. Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS; donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. For more information about Soles4Souls, please call (866) 521-SHOE, or visit www.giveshoes.org

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