NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Soles4Souls Inc., the shoe charity, announced it is assessing the international damage from the earthquake in Japan only hours after the 8.9 magnitude quake set off more than 50 tsunami warnings from the Japanese islands to the west coast of the US. The effects of the quake are still developing, but it has left more than 100 dead and 600 injured in Japan alone. The charity, along with its partners in Indonesia and throughout Asia, has staged relief aid containers in preparation for the possible widespread devastation.
Individuals interested in supporting Soles4Souls' relief efforts are encouraged to visit www.giveshoes.org to find the nearest shoe drop-off location in their area or to financially sponsor pairs of new shoes to be sent. Individuals can also text the word SHOES to 20222 to donate $5.
"We are saddened by the devastation and are continuing to monitor the developing effects of this powerful quake," said Wayne Elsey, Founder and CEO of Soles4Souls. "As with any natural disaster, our concerns also turn to the nations like Indonesia and the Philippines where the damage could be greater because of the lack of resources. We are fully equipped for an extensive response should the need prove to be as widespread as our partners are predicting," he added.
The charity will keep a close eye on the increasing need and respond accordingly, with as many as 100,000 shoes allocated for the quick response. The initial quake, which struck a few hundred miles outside of Tokyo, was followed by a series of 30 aftershocks with magnitudes of 6 to 7, according to the Japanese Prime Minister.
According to Elsey, a pair of decent shoes is absolutely necessary in order to participate effectively in rescue and rebuilding efforts among broken glass, twisted metal and raw sewage.
For more information on how to get involved and donate to the victims in Southeast Asia, visit www.giveshoes.org.
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.
Donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. Visit www.giveshoes.org for more information.