SOURCE: Soles4Souls Inc.

August 21, 2007 19:46 ET

Soles4Souls Inc., the Shoe Charity, Needs Your Shoes for Disaster Victims

Back-to-Back Disasters in Peru and Mexico Depleting Available Footwear; People and Companies Can Donate at

NASHVILLE, TN--(Marketwire - August 21, 2007) - Wayne Elsey, the Founder and CEO of Soles4Souls™ Inc., is accustomed to seeing 32,000 pairs of shoes come in and out of the charity's warehouses each week, but the recent disasters in Peru and Mexico have left a giant void in the Soles4Souls buildings. Elsey said the charity's immediate needs are for rugged shoes suitable for disaster cleanup, as well as the funds to ship them.

"Rugged footwear is always a need for us, but today it is crucial," Elsey said. "The earthquake in Peru is devastating -- more than 540 people are dead, 85% of the homes are totally destroyed, and relief organizations are doing what they can to ship supplies to the Pisco region, including us," he said. "We've worked in Peru before, and our hearts are extremely saddened by the loss of life in that area."

Elsey said that people and companies interested in donating to the effort can visit the organization's website,, and follow the instructions. "We can use the shoes taking up space in your closet to change the world one pair at a time," Elsey said. "We need our partners in North America to get behind our call for action. It's one of the most simple yet profound gifts you can make, because it will greatly improve someone's life in the most difficult of times," he said.

Paul Wilson, President of the Soles4Souls Outreach Division, said that the charity has tens of thousands of sandals, flip-flops, dress shoes, and children's shoes set to be delivered around the world, but that the organization needs footwear appropriate for the problem, such as safety boots, athletic shoes, and outdoor footwear.

"Flip-flops just won't cut it in this earthquake's aftermath," Wilson said. "This is a long term project for us -- the infrastructure is destroyed, the terrain is tough, and much of the outlying areas are forgotten. We are committed to reaching those people who have had their homes collapse and have little or no safety net," Wilson said.

Wilson said he and his team were also monitoring the damage from Hurricane Dean in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. "We're poised and ready to ship everything we have to help the victims of the Hurricane," he said. "We're hoping for the best and prepared for the worst. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people in the path of Hurricane Dean," he said.

About Soles4Souls

Nashville-based Soles4Souls facilitates the donations of footwear, which are used to aid the hurting worldwide. Soles4Souls has donated more than 2.6 million pairs of shoes since its inception (one pair of shoes every 28 seconds). The charity will be featured in the coming days 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 or

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