NEW YORK, Aug. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- AWEARNESS, The Kenneth Cole Foundation is partnering with Soles4Souls (www.soles4souls.org), the international shoe charity, on a nationwide shoe drive and launch of a retail program to raise money for the construction of a community wellness center in Haiti. The program, which runs from August 3 to September 16, encourages customers to bring in their new or gently worn shoes, and donate funds to support the building of the Center.
Customers visiting any of the Kenneth Cole stores during this time will have the opportunity to drop off a gently worn pair of shoes, and/or donate $10 at check-out. Customers can also donate $10 online at www.kennethcole.com. Donations will go directly to support the construction of a Kenneth Cole-Soles4Souls sustained community wellness center for children and adults in earthquake-torn Haiti. Additionally, as a thank you for donating, customers will receive a 20% discount off their full-price purchase. The program also harnesses the power of both groups' social media audiences. For every fan who "likes" the info-graphic on the Kenneth Cole Facebook page, the company will donate $1 towards the building of the Center.
"I believe we have a responsibility to continue helping the people of Haiti rebuild their communities. Even though it's been over a year since the earthquake, the area remains much the same today, and the people still need our help," says Kenneth Cole who will be traveling to Haiti in October along with Soles4Souls to visit the Center. "Over the last 18 years we have collected more than 1.5 million pairs of shoes for those in need, and I felt the time was right to expand the initiative by building a Community Wellness Center that provides much needed healthcare and education for Haitians, and that will hopefully function as an anchor for the community."
The community wellness center will include a recreation area, classes for HIV and AIDS awareness and prevention, along with education and treatment for Hookworm -- one of the most common diseases affecting children and adults in Haiti.
"The building of the community wellness center will be a huge step forward in the health and education of the people of Haiti," said Wayne Elsey, Founder and CEO of Soles4Souls. "As Haitians work diligently to rebuild their lives, it is essential to also rebuild their sense of community. This Center will be our first step in helping them do just that," Elsey added.
Musician and social activist Michael Franti is also being recognized by AWEARNESS, The Kenneth Cole Foundation as one of their official "Change Agents". A Change Agent is a social activist who by example, strives to help educate and encourage others to get involved. Past Change Agents have included: Cheyenne Jackson, Mayor Cory Booker, and Amr Waked. Franti who is the lead singer of the band Spearhead, is known not only for his socially conscious music, but also as an activist and advocate for global peace, sustainable environmentalism, and social justice. Franti and Spearhead also recorded the Top 20 hit "Say Hey (I Love You)." A complete video Q&A with Franti can be viewed online at www.awearness.com.
For more information on how to get involved and donate to the victims in Haiti, visit www.awearness.com.
About AWEARNESS, The Kenneth Cole Foundation
AWEARNESS promotes, encourages and inspires meaningful social change, and supports like-minded Change Agents and organizations to make a difference. We also sell products and host events in support of their important causes. As part of each partnership, an AWEARNESS "Change Agent" is selected, and their story of social activism is highlighted to inspire others to get involved. These interviews and products can be seen on the AWEARNESS website www.awearness.com.
About Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc.
Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. designs, sources and markets a broad range of footwear, handbags, apparel and accessories under the brand names Kenneth Cole New York, Kenneth Cole Reaction and Unlisted, as well as footwear under the proprietary trademark Gentle Souls. The Company has also granted a wide variety of third party licenses for the production of men's, women's and children's apparel as well as fragrances, watches, jewelry, eyewear and several other accessory categories. The Company's products are distributed through department stores, better specialty stores, company-owned retail stores and its e-commerce website. Further information can be found at http://www.kennethcole.com.
Soles4Souls is a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people like you. We distribute these shoes, free of charge, to people in need around the world. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away over 7 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes (currently distributing one pair every 9 seconds). The shoes have been distributed in 125 countries, including Haiti, Kenya, Nepal and the United States. Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS and donating parties are eligible for tax advantages.
SOURCE Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc.