Matthew Sterling is a Life Scout in Troop 9, Ilion, NY. During the month of February, he has organized and hosted a shoe drive for the Soles for Souls organization. Now his drive has no wheels. Soles4Souls is a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people like you. They distribute these shoes, free of charge, to people in need around the world. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away over 7 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes (currently distributing one pair every 9 seconds). The shoes have been distributed in 125 countries, including Haiti, Kenya, Nepal and the United States. Soles4Souls a non profit organization and donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. www.giveshoes.org
Although the planning stages for Matthew's project began in November of 2009, the shoes collected will most likely be sent to Haiti after their earthquake in Jnauary. Throughout the project Matthew has been in contact with Soles for Souls and The Sneaker Store in New Hartford, which is a participant in the Soles for Souls program. Through several phone conversations with managers at the Sneaker Soter, he arranged for the shoes he would be collecting to be shipped to the Soles for Souls warehouse It was stated to him that the shipping is costly, and any donations to assist would be greatly appreciated. They never stated a limitation of the amount of shoes they would accept for delivery. Matthew collected $78.96 to help defray the shipping costs. On March 6, Matthew's father, Kevin Sterling contacted the sneaker store, asked abut store hours, how shoes should be packaged for delivery, and stated weh had collected over 500 pairs and they were planning to deliver the shoes on Sunday, March 7. On March 7, 2010, Matthew delivered over 777 pairs of shoes to the Sneaker Store. Within two hours he recieved a call at home from the owner of the store stating they could not store or ship this large of a shipment. He stated he normally delivers an average of a crate a month at the cost of approximately $35.00. Even though the cost is fully tax deductible, they refused to take on the task they had committed to, and are forcing Eagle Project to be put on hold and the Sterlings must remove the 777 plus pairs of shoes from their premises. Matthew is in need of a place to store the shoes, and cash donations to assist with the shipping costs.
Below is some information regarding Soles for Souls. http://www.soles4souls.org
Here you can search by zip code for local participants.
Changing the World – One Pair at a Time®
Soles4Souls is a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from the warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people like you. The charity distributes these shoes free of charge to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class, or any other criteria. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away over 7 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes (currently donating one pair every 9 seconds.) The shoes have been distributed to people in over 125 countries, including Kenya, Thailand, Nepal and the United States. Soles4Souls has been featured in Runner's World, Ladies’ Home Journal, National Geographic’s Green Guide, and The New York Times. It has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, BBC, CNN and thousands of regional news outlets across North America. Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS and donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. Anyone can join our cause, and we need your help.
Soles4Souls facilitates the donations of shoes, which are used to aid the hurting worldwide. Shoe companies, retailers, and individuals can donate footwear (both new and used).
The idea behind gifts of shoes is nothing new to the Soles4Souls team, as they coordinated relief efforts for the Asian Tsunami and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, netting over 1 Million pairs donated for these disasters. The team originally operated as www.katrinashoes.org with several churches partnering in the collection and distribution of footwear.
• The Sneaker Store
4490 Commercial Drive
New Hartford, NY 13413