LOS ANGELES and NASHVILLE, Tenn., June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Skid Row residents stood in line for hours Tuesday to get a new pair of shoes during the kick-off for Barefoot Week, which is sponsored by shoe charity Soles4Souls. Thousands of pairs of shoes were distributed the first day in Los Angeles, during a week when shoes are being distributed in five cities around the nation.
Soles4Souls, the international shoe charity dedicated to giving shoes to people in need, is hosting its 3rd Annual National Barefoot Week (June 1-7) to increase participation among Americans who want to join forces and make a difference for people in need. The organization collects and distributes both new and "gently worn" shoes and was founded by Wayne Elsey, a former footwear executive, who used his industry resources to make a difference around the world.
"Footwear is a critical need for the homeless in Los Angeles," said Herb Smith, president of the Los Angeles Mission. "Many homeless and poor have foot issues because of ill-fitting or worn shoes, and the inability to take care of their feet adequately. New, correctly-sized shoes will make a big difference to their overall health and well-being," Smith said.
Celebrities and other volunteers handed out the shoes to those in need who came to the Mission this week. Soles4Souls created NATIONAL BAREFOOT WEEK to encourage people to temporarily go barefoot and donate their shoes. CaCee Cobb (Price of Beauty on VH-1), Donald Faison (Scrubs), Suzanne Whang (Househunters) and other volunteers helped make sure that recipients receive the right size shoes. Lance Bass (N'Sync) also posted a video on the Soles4Souls website and went barefoot to encourage people to support the cause.
Soles4Souls is a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people like you. They distribute these shoes, free of charge, to people in need around the world. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away over 10 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.