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Attention anyone with a closet: Those shoes you no longer want are desperately needed to fight the human tragedy of global poverty.
That’s the message being delivered by American tennis star, Sloane Stephens and the Volvo Car Open, which has launched a drive to collect 2,500 shoes to help achieve positive change, both humanitarian and economic, via Soles4Souls. Used and new shoes can be dropped off in Charleston from April 2nd – 10th at the Volvo Car Open, 161 Seven Farms Drive Charleston, SC, and at O2 Fitness Club, 910 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Mt. Pleasant, SC, where shoe collection bins will be placed. Anyone that donates a pair of shoes at either location is eligible to receive a free pair of general admission tickets to a Sloane Stephens match.
Stephens will make an appearance at the Johnnie Dodds location of Mt. Pleasant's O2 Fitness Club to raise awareness for Soles4Soles on Sunday, April 3rd at 11am.
Stephens has partnered with the Nashville-based charity to collect new and used shoes and clothing and redistribute to people in need through direct donations and micro-enterprise partners. The Volvo Car Open has signed on as one of Stephens’ Soles4Souls tournament partners, along with the Miami Open, City Open, Western & Southern Open and the Louisville International Open.
Since its inception in 2006, Soles4Souls has distributed over 26 million pairs of shoes to the underprivileged in 127 countries, including Kenya, Thailand, Nepal, and Haiti, as well as all fifty U.S. states.
The connection between poverty and shoes is well documented. The World Bank estimates that approximately 400 million children worldwide – more than the entire U.S. population – live in pronounced poverty. Millions of these children will grow up never having had a pair of shoes, resulting in significant ramifications for their health and well being. Lacking proper footwear, countless children will not be able or permitted to attend school. And tens of millions of these poverty-stricken, barefoot boys and girls will be infected with soil-transmitted parasitic diseases like hookworm, causing lasting suffering and lifelong debilitation.
“I feel very fortunate to be working with Soles4Souls and to have the opportunity to create a positive change for those less fortunate, said Stephens. “As athletes, we receive clothing and shoes that could be donated to create opportunities for others. I am honored to be in a position to make a small difference in the lives of others and help support a powerful and sustainable way for people to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.”
“Sloane and Volvo Car Open are supporting Soles4Souls because it is the definition of a social enterprise where solid business practices are used to create positive change in people’s lives,” said Bob Moran, Volvo Car Open Tournament Director. “Sloane is a strong supporter of Soles4Souls’ anti-poverty mission, and we hope to take a big step in providing the organization with the used shoes they require to keep making a difference for people in need.”
To donate to Soles4Souls in Charleston, South Carolina, bring your shoes to:
- The Volvo Car Open, 161 Seven Farms Drive Charleston, SC 29492
- O2 Fitness, 910 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
Tickets for the 2016 Volvo Car Open are now on sale. For more information on tickets, call 800.677.2293 or visit http://www.volvocaropen.com. Patrons can purchase single session tickets, or choose from a variety of ticket and travel packages.
Soles4Souls is a not for profit global social enterprise committed to fighting poverty through the collection and distribution of shoes and clothing. The organization advances its anti-poverty mission by collecting new and used shoes and clothes from individuals, schools, faith-based institutions, civic organizations and corporate partners, then distributing those shoes and clothing both via direct donations to people in need and by provisioning qualified micro-enterprise programs designed to create jobs in poor and disadvantaged communities. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Soles4Souls is committed to the highest standards of operating and governance. Visit soles4souls.org for more information.