Nashville—Soles4Souls, Inc., a global not-for-profit institution that fights poverty through the distribution of shoes and clothing, wants you to set your feet free Thursday, Oct. 10 by joining Barefoot4Them.
The charity hopes to surpass last year’s inaugural Barefoot4Them event, when thousands of people posted pictures of their bare feet on Facebook and other social media sites to promote awareness of global poverty and raise support for Soles4Souls, which since 2007 has distributed more than 20 million pairs of donated shoes around the world.
Millions Lack Basic Footwear
An estimated 300 million children worldwide –almost equal to the entire U.S. population—live without shoes on their feet. Millions of these children will grow up never having a pair of shoes, with terrible impact on their health and well-being. Lacking proper footwear, countless children will not be able or permitted to attend school. And tens of millions of these poor, barefoot boys and girls will become infected with soil-transmitted parasitic diseases like hookworm, causing lifelong suffering and debilitation.
“The more we can convince people to go barefoot for just a few hours on behalf of those who are forced to because they don’t have shoes, the more lives we change,” said Soles4Souls CEO Buddy Teaster. “Our affluent consumer society takes shoes so much for granted that hundreds of millions of them are dumped into landfills every year. We created Barefoot4Them to politely interrupt that comfort level, and in return Soles4Souls will mobilize a new generation of good people who realize that the shoes gathering dust in their closets are precious currency for the battle against global poverty.”
To become one of this year’s thousands of Barefoot4Them advocates: visit www.barefoot4them.com where you can pledge to go without shoes on Oct. 10. Soles4Souls will in turn send you the name, photograph and story of a person who represents the millions of men, women and children around the world who live day after day without adequate footwear.
Soles4Souls also asks participants to post a photo of their bare feet on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #barefoot4them. Even better, many of those Barefoot4Them social media posts will each generate a dollar to Soles4Souls from this year’s event sponsor, KindRunner.com, a new socially responsible e-commerce site designed specifically for runners.
Soles4Souls is a global not-for-profit institution dedicated to fighting the devastating impact and perpetuation of poverty. The organization advances its anti-poverty mission by collecting new and used shoes and clothes from individuals, schools, faith-based institutions, civic organizations and corporate partners, then distributing those shoes and clothes both via direct donations to people in need and by provisioning qualified micro-enterprise programs designed to create jobs in poor and disadvantaged communities. Soles4Souls holds a four-star rating with Charity Navigator. www.giveshoes.org