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Footwear Drive off to Roaring Start

To: National Desk

Contact: Angela Foglesong, Knot Limited, LLC at 615-604-1879 or 334-863-6628

SAN DIEGO, June 20 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Soles4Souls Footwear Drive in San Diego is off to a roaring start. Last week, members of North Coast Calvary Chapel literally gave the shoes off their feet to help people in Africa who have no footwear. The Outreach Pastor (Pastor "Bear") of the church made a brief but passionate plea to his congregation, and together, they made a worldwide statement by removing their own shoes during the morning service to give to hurting people in Africa.

Teaming up with the national Soles4Souls team -- a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Wadley, Alabama -- groups like North Coast Calvary Chapel are stepping up to make a difference. Founder of Soles4Souls, longtime footwear executive Wayne Elsey, said that the footwear drive in San Diego is indicative of the overall generosity of Americans. "People in San Diego and around the country have huge hearts and shoes to donate," he said.

Pastor "Bear" of North Coast Calvary Chapel pointed out that simple footwear donations by Americans can go a long way. "Americans have more than 1.5 billion pairs of shoes in their closets while many of the poorest and needy go without any," he said. "It's a simple but telling gesture that can bring some assistance to those people in Africa and around the world."

The San Diego Footwear Drive has established a Donation Center at North Coast Calvary Chapel until June 30th. It will be open from 9:30 am until 6:00 pm daily.

"The people of San Diego and surrounding areas can deliver their shoes to our donation center for the next ten days," Paul Wilson, President of Soles4Souls said. "We encourage all southern Californians who can to stop in a deliver their footwear."

North Coast Calvary Chapel is located in Carlsbad, California, just north of San Diego. You can get specific directions and donation instructions at the footwear drive's website: www.soles4souls.org/sandiego.

Even if you don't live in the San Diego area, you can make a donation by donating cash to help with freight costs. "We need help in getting these shoes to the people in Africa and all over the world," said Wilson. The non-profit group has established a website (www.soles4souls.org) and is coordinating with individuals and corporations around the world to bring the gift of shoes to hurting people everywhere. Cash donations earmarked for freight can be sent to the home office in Wadley, Alabama and are tax-deductible.

Soles4Souls was established to make a difference in people's lives with the gift of shoes. It all began with the Asian Tsunami Relief Drive, when Elsey, President of Kodiak-Terra USA, Inc. called on his colleagues in the shoe industry to step up and donate shoes. 18 months later, Soles4Souls has collected and distributed over 1 million pairs of shoes, both used and new. Last year, over 3/4 million pairs were sent to the region affected by Hurricane Katrina.

"North Coast Calvary Church is managing our shoe drive in the San Diego area, and people are asked to make donations of extras in their closet," Wilson said. "Clean out your closet and drop them off at our collection centers (at the church). We will process them and get them on the way to impact people's lives."

Souls4Soles will be sending many of the shoes collected from this effort to Malawi and Swaziland, two African countries in much need of the footwear.

For more information, visit the footwear drive website at www.soles4souls.org/sandiego/ or call 1-334-TO-DONATE (334-863-6628).