There are currently more than 300 million children and 1.5 billion adults in the world today who do not own basic shoes. Soles4Souls is a nonprofit organization founded in 2004 that is working towards lowering those numbers and changing the world one pair at a time.
Shoes are so, incredibly essential to our every day safety and in most of our lives, they are taken for granted. Soles4Souls has donated shoes to people affected by poverty and natural disasters throughout the world for the past seven years. To successfully donate so many shoes to deserving people in need, Soles4Souls receives large donations from footwear companies, retailers, churches, nonprofit ministries, civic groups, schools and individuals just like you and me who feel strongly about donating what we can, where we can. And what’s easier than donating a pair of shoes?
In order to raise awareness of their cause and to encourage people to donate their unused and new shoes to people who desperately need them, Soles4Souls has kicked off National Barefoot Week, starting today with National Barefoot Day.
Today will kick off various events across the country and will also celebrate the first U.S. distribution of 2011 Barefoot Week, which will take place in Detroit. To get involved in Barefoot Day, simply take off your shoes and tell people, if you dare venture outside, why you’re not wearing any shoes. Good luck getting into any places of business, but if you’re a kick ass activist willing to take risks, try your luck by walking into a restaurant or store and declaring why you’re not wearing any shoes and how some people don’t have the luxury of walking outside, putting on a pair, and walking back in.
You can also take your barefoot activism online, of course. Change your Twitter avatar and Facebook profile pic to a picture of your bare feet. Be sure to add a caption about why your picture is of bare feet and why not send a tweet while you’re at it? Something like: My feet are bare for Soles4Souls’ Barefoot Week. Learn more on giveshoes.org.
CharityBuzz.com is also hosting a Celebrity Shoe Auction where you can bid on shoes signed by celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker, Yoko Ono, Justin Timberlake, Derek Jeter, and others.
Tomorrow, Soles4Souls Founder & CEO and staff will go barefoot and they are challenging all members of the press to go barefoot for at least four consecutive hours during the week and report on its effects to their viewers. People in need in St. Louis will receive shoes from Soles4Souls on Thursday and on Friday, people in the Boston area will be receiving shoes.
On Saturday and Sunday, Soles4Souls has asked more than 150,000 churches to join in and get involved by taking off their shoes. As part of this movement, congregants can bring their new or gently-worn shoes to church or donate funds to Soles4Souls to help put shoes on the feet of the 300 million children around the world who must go barefoot every day of their lives. For more information, visit Barefoot Sunday.
On Monday, June 6, shoes will be given to people in need in Los Angeles and on June 7th, Soles4Souls will be headed to Atlanta to deliver shoes.
Updates on what is going on throughout the week will be added to the Barefoot Week website where you will also find more information on other ways you can get involved.