NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Soles4Souls, the international charity famous for distributing shoes to the needy around the world could be rolling up to a college campus near you. Soles4Souls, along with FN (Footwear News), will be taking its message of hope through shoes to more than 50 campuses across the country with the Soles4Souls/FN 2011 University RV Tour.
The RV Tour, with lead sponsor, Zodiac USA™, a brand of Brown Shoe Company, Inc. (NYSE : BWS , www.brownshoe.com,) and co-sponsored by Minnetonka, Asics, Jellypop, Yellow Box, and Michael Antonio Footwear Group, launched on March 1st at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. The Soles4Souls/FN 2011 University RV Tour will roll through campuses throughout the southeast this spring and continue with the start of classes in the fall.
"We are so proud to be partnering with Soles4Souls for the second year in a row," said FN Publisher Marc Berger. "Today's college generation is passionate about making a difference and during the Soles4Souls/FN 2011 University RV Tour, we'll be able to engage thousands of young people across the country to make a real charitable impact and contribution."
Newlyweds Heath and Melissa Bain heard about the charity's plan to launch the Soles4Souls/FN 2011 University RV Tour that is geared to connect with college students. They jumped at the opportunity to spend most of their first year of marriage on the road — in less than 200 square feet — exploring the country and raising awareness for the millions of children who contract illness and disease due to the lack of proper footwear.
"We are stoked to be visiting all of the college campuses, bringing Soles4Souls' mission to students across the country who want to make their own personal impact on the world," said Melissa Bain. "So we put everything in storage, found a temporary home for our dog, and set out on this adventure to encourage students to get involved with this great cause."
The young couple will drive the RV as brand ambassadors for Soles4Souls, and document their stops, as well as the students and friends they meet along the way. The Soles4Souls/FN 2011 University RV Tour team will be updating their locations on each of the campuses on the tour web site www.giveshoes.org/rvtour and through their Twitter account www.twitter.com/s4srvtour. Students at participating institutions will be able to take part in games and giveaways and other on-campus events. In addition to hosting on-campus activities for the students, each of the sponsors has donated hundreds of pairs of shoes to benefit disadvantaged people in local communities near the select schools. The footwear brand Zodiac USA™ is also hosting a sweepstakes during the tour where people can enter to win free shoes by visiting www.Facebook.com/ZodiacUSA.
"Zodiac USA footwear is excited to help bring the Soles4Souls message to thousands of college students in a way we hope will spread throughout the campuses and beyond. The mobile aspect of the campaign adds a grassroots element and enables us to connect with our consumers across the country," said Brown Shoe Senior Vice President-Wholesale Specialty Clay Jenkins.
Dates and Locations:
Saturday, March 26 -University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Tuesday, March 29 – University of Florida, Apopka, FL
Thursday, March 31 - Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Tuesday, April 5 – University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
Thursday, April 7 – University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Thursday, April 14 – University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Why are shoes important?
Footwear is the first step to helping people in impoverished areas live healthy, productive lives. Footwear can help eliminate the spreading of diseases through the foot, as well as help children get an education — since many schools have footwear requirements to attend. For more information on the walk or to sign up a team, visit www.giveshoes.org/onewalk.
About Soles4Souls® & Clothes4Souls®
Soles4Souls® & Clothes4Souls® are registered trademarks of Soles4Souls, Inc. Soles4Souls collects, recycles and reuses shoes from warehouses of footwear companies and closets from individuals. We distribute usable shoes to people in need around the world (we recycle less than 2% of donated footwear). Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away over 13 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes (currently distributing one pair every 7 seconds). The shoes have been distributed in 125 countries, including Haiti, Kenya, Nepal and the United States.
Clothes4Souls, a new division of Soles4Souls, provides hope for hurting people through the gift of new clothing from manufacturers, designers, and retailers. Those who graciously give (rather than destroy) unused inventory are assured their donations are distributed to people around the world living in desperate need.
About Zodiac USA
Zodiac USA has deep roots in the rock-n-roll culture of the 70's. It was then that two tannery owners pieced together scraps of mismatched leather to create a whole new vibe in footwear. Worn by hippies, rock stars and socialites alike, Zodiac USA embodied the cool, free-spirit attitude of the times. With a nod to its past, Zodiac USA is perfectly at home in the street, city and country styles of today. Eclectic, creative and cool, it is the past, present and future of the American denim culture.
About Brown Shoe Company, Inc.
Zodiac USA is a brand of Brown Shoe Company, Inc. Brown Shoe is a $2.5 billion global footwear company. Brown Shoe's Retail division operates Famous Footwear, a leading family branded footwear destination with over 1,100 stores nationwide and e-commerce site FamousFootwear.com, approximately 260 specialty retail stores in the U.S., Canada, and China primarily under the Naturalizer brand name, and footwear e-tailer shoes.com. Through its wholesale divisions, Brown Shoe designs and markets leading fashion and athletic footwear brands including Naturalizer, Dr. Scholl's, Avia, Franco Sarto, LifeStride, Etienne Aigner, Sam Edelman, Via Spiga, ryka, And 1, Vera Wang Lavender, and Buster Brown. Brown Shoe press releases are available on the Company's website at www.brownshoe.com.
About FN (Footwear News)
FN is published weekly by the Fairchild Fashion Group, a unit of Conde Nast. The Fairchild Fashion Group includes WWD (Women's Wear Daily), WWD.com, Style.com, FN (Footwear News), Footwearnews.com, Beauty Inc, Menswear, Fairchild Summits and Fairchild Books. Conde Nast is a division of Advance Publications, which operates in 25 countries.