After the earthquake in Haiti, the staff at the Museum decided to join the relief efforts of the organization Soles4Souls® and collect shoes for the people of the devastated island. We held our shoe drive a few weeks ago, and collected over 1,500 pairs.
What is Soles4Souls?
It’s a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from the warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people like you, and distributes the shoes free of charge to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away 7 million pairs of shoes to people in 125 countries.
After the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, Wayne Elsey, the Founder of Soles4Souls® wanted to do something. One night on TV he saw a picture of a single shoe washing up on a beach. The next day he phoned some CEO’s in the footwear industry, and a quarter of a million shoes were donated.
A year later when Katrina hit, Wayne called the same group of friends, and they sent over a million pairs of shoes.
Soles4Souls accepts all types of shoes: athletic, running, dress, sandals, pumps, heels, work boots, cleats, dance, flip flops, just as long as they are new or ‘gently worn.’ [They define ‘gently worn’ as shoes that you would still wear.] The shoes should be clean (no mud), have solid soles with no holes, and laces if applicable.
Update on Haiti:
Two weeks ago Sean Penn told Larry King that when the heavy rains fall in Haiti, “the country will be on the verge of what might be the greatest public health crisis in the history of the Western Hemisphere… The people are in tent cities made from rugged tarps on top, and sheets on the side. It’s an incredible fire hazard. The camps are wildly overcrowded, a breeding ground for infectious diseases…”
A heavy downpour fell last night. According to an Associated Press report the torrential rains “swept screaming residents into eddies of water, caused the latrines to overflow and panicked thousands…”