LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 7, 2013) – A citywide shoe drive has been launched in Lexington to benefit Soles4Souls Inc., a global not-for-profit institution dedicated to fighting poverty through the distribution of shoes and clothing.
The shoe drive, spearheaded by AreUKind.org founders Josh and Jacob Griffin, encourages individuals to clean out their closets and donate their new or gently worn footwear to make a tangible positive difference in the world.
Experts estimate that approximately 300 million children worldwide – almost as many as the entire U.S. population – live without shoes on their feet, resulting in significant ramifications for 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 poverty-stricken, barefoot boys and girls will be infected with soil-transmitted parasitic diseases like hookworm, causing lasting suffering and lifelong debilitation. With the help of AreUKind.org and the city of Lexington, Soles4Souls is working to end this cycle of poverty.
Residents can bring their donations from now until Dec. 31 to: Simpson Optical, 340 Meijer Way; Republic Bank, 2401 Harrodsburg Rd.; or Columbia Steakhouse, 2750 Richmond Rd. The shoes donated will be given a second life through direct donations and microenterprise programs that provide job opportunities in developing nations. To date, Soles4Souls has distributed over 20 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries.
“The average American owns more than 15 pairs of shoes. By simply cleaning out your closets and donating the shoes you no longer wear, you can help make a difference in the lives of nearly 300 million people worldwide who do not have even a single pair,” said Josh Griffin. “It is really easy to help Soles4Souls achieve their mission of ending the cycle of poverty in developing and recovering nations around the world by providing shoes, jobs and a better life for those in need.”
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. Based in Nashville, Tenn., Soles4Souls holds a four-star rating with Charity Navigator. For more information, visit www.giveshoes.org.