When I was prepping for my first 5K, one of the biggest things I learned was that having the right shoes makes a huge difference. I couldn’t imagine not having the support of a nice running sneaker when I go out for a jog.
After reading about Soles4Souls, the first thought I had in my head was how grateful I am for those sneakers.
In 2004 when the tsunami hit Southeast Asia, Soles4Souls’ founder Wayne Elsey was watching TV one evening when he saw a picture of a shoe wash up on the beach. After making some calls to other executives in the footwear industry, he helped spearhead a donation of a quarter million shoes to victims. Then Hurricane Katrina happened and they sent over a million pairs of shoes down to the gulf coast communities affected by the hurricane.
This is when Elsey founded Soles4Souls — to continue collecting shoes year-round and getting them to people in need.
Worldwide, over 300 million children are without shoes. Providing footwear to individuals in impoverished areas is the first step in helping them live healthy, productive lives.
In addition to footwear helping eliminate the spread of diseases through the foot, many schools’ uniforms require footwear — so providing shoes to children in need helps them obtain an education. You can learn more about the importance of shoes here.
The Flippin’ Good Deeds Challenge
Over the last few years, Soles4Souls has partnered with retailers, churches, nonprofit ministries, civic groups, schools, and individuals to continue their mission. One of these partnerships is with flipflop wines, a California-based wine producer. For every bottle of wine that’s purchased, Soles4Souls will distribute one pair of shoes to those in need.
Their latest program is the flippin’ good deeds challenge, where bloggers are invited to reach out to their community and collect gently worn shoes to donate to Soles4Souls.
My coworker and fellow blogger Mary from iNeed a Playdate (you may remember her from her guest post on the Great Lakes Science Center) is a huge fan of flipflop wines and approached me about teaming up to run a local drive together. We’ll be sharing more details next week, but in the meantime you can learn about the challenge here or email me at clueintocleveland (at) gmail (dot) com.
Mary and I are really excited — so keep an eye out for a post at the beginning of next week about how you can get involved with the flippin’ good deeds challenge!
flipflop wines 411: