TOPEKA, Kan., Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Payless ShoeSource® announced today that hundreds of non-profit organizations across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and 12 Latin American and Caribbean countries will join the retailer in its fifth annual Payless Gives Shoes 4 Kids program. This grass-roots effort will give $1.4 million in free shoes to children of families in need this holiday season.
This program is unique in that merchandise certificates are distributed through hundreds of local charity partners that quickly and directly get shoes to kids who need them the most. Many of these local partners coordinate group shopping trips to Payless stores. This approach gives the kids the chance to be properly fitted by a Payless store associate and pick out their own shoes.
This year Payless will give away more than 70,000 free shoe merchandise certificates, which are redeemable toward a new pair of kids' shoes through May of 2013 at any of Payless' 4,000-plus stores located across North America and at stores in Barbados, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago.
"In this season of giving, we want as many children as possible to experience the simple joy of a new pair of shoes," said Paul Jones, CEO and president of Payless. "Our Payless Gives program model allows us to do just that. In partnership with our local charity partners, our store teams collectively serve tens of thousands of kids in need throughout the holidays. It is a true gift – for us, but most importantly, the kids."
All free shoe merchandise certificates have been distributed to Payless Gives charity partners. Interested families in need can go www.paylessgives.com for a list of charity partners by state.
Over the past five years of the Payless Gives annual campaign, Payless has given more than $6 million in free shoes to children in need. Payless initiated the Payless Gives Shoes 4 Kids program in 2008 in response to the economic crisis, its impact on the underprivileged, the significant need across the United States for children's shoes, and to support localized non-profits with a tool to assist them in helping those in need during the holidays. Payless first launched the program domestically and, in 2009, extended the program beyond the U.S. to reach families in Canada, Puerto Rico and in 12 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean. This is Payless' fifth year of this unique giving program.
Earlier this year, Payless also supported the victims of Hurricane Sandy using a similar model, issuing more than $40,000 in free shoe merchandise certificates through local Boys & Girls Clubs chapters in heavily hit areas in New York and New Jersey.
Payless ShoeSource offers a wide range of essential, trend-right shoes and accessories at affordable prices to help budget-conscious consumers look good every step of the way. Payless stores feature an engaging self-select shopping environment, unique customer services, the Incredible Value Every Day Collection and a well-known portfolio of brands including Airwalk®, Dexter®, Champion®, American Eagle by Payless, Brash™, designer label Christian Siriano for Payless™ and children's brand Smartfit®. Payless operates 4,107 stores throughout the Americas and an online store (www.Payless.com) and also has approximately 174 franchised stores located primarily in Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
SOURCE Payless ShoeSource