‘Soles4Souls’ Collects 70,000 Pairs of Shoes

Shoes are being used as a catalyst to intrinsically shift the economic, academic, social and spiritual aspect of a families’ well being. Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International (FGBCFI) launched a 50K Shoe Challenge, as a part of its LIVE FULL strategic initiative.

In just over a month, Soles4Souls’ first reformation organization partner, met its shoe challenge and exceeded its’ goal by 20,000 pairs of shoes yielding a donation of 70,000 pairs of gently used and new shoes to help those in need and fight global poverty.

Soles4Souls will convert every used pair of shoes collected from the community into a value-added social currency to achieve positive change, both humanitarian and economic. Most of the gently used shoes will be distributed to micro-enterprise programs that create jobs in Haiti and other poor nations. The resulting revenue will help fund the free distribution of new shoes in the U.S., Canada and developing nations around the world.

“We are committed to keep community, the opportunity to connect, and the radical compassion of Christ in front of us. We are determined to #LiveFull and as blessed members of FGBCFI we have the beautiful privilege of being empowered to share from our places of fullness. We do not ‘do’ outreach or ‘do” missions. We are outreach; we are missions. Daily, we have the opportunity to be the living manifestation of both. We know that when we focus our faith, we can have real impact on real challenges. Over 900 million people live in extreme poverty—less than $1.90 per day. Many don’t have access to a sustainable income and are often unable to provide basic necessities, such as a good pair of shoes, for their family. We can do something more than discuss the statistics; we can be a solution-partner and change the statistics. We are encouraged about the news of exceeding our goal by 20,000 pairs of shoes, further proving the power of partnership, philanthropy and positive momentum that churches can deliver in today’s culture,” says Bishop Joseph W. Walker III.

“I am deeply grateful for this partnership,” said Buddy Teaster, Soles4Souls’ CEO.” Bishop Walker’s understanding and support of our approach to creating sustainable economic opportunities for people in the developing world is profound.  By fully engaging with members of the FGBCFI, this powerful group will make a significant impact for thousands of women and their families.  They are literally turning things in their closets that they no longer use into a roof over someone’s head, an extra meal a day and school for children desperate for an education.”

“Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International views social enterprise and social outreach as key components to spiritual growth and it’s our clarion call to the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship faith community and the faith community at large to LIVE FULL,” says Bishop Joseph W. Walker III. “Collecting 70,000 pairs of shoes is a tremendous opportunity to connect the people of our faith community to children in need around the world and global culture as a whole.”

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