The California State University (CSU) with its twenty-three campuses and 480,000+ students is the largest public higher education system in the US. Not surprisingly, the CSU-Emeritus and Retired Faculty Association (CSU-ERFA) is the largest organization of retired and emeritus faculty in the nation. Given the unanticipated honor of being elected to serve as President of CSU-ERFA, I have proposed a number of goals. One of them, which is very important to me, is the CSU Million Shoe Campaign in partnership with Soles4Souls (S4S). My co-chair for this endeavor is Emeritus Professor, Barbara Sinclair.
We piloted the S4S shoe drive at my home campus (CSU Dominguez Hills) over a year ago. Building on the lessons we learned, we expanded to CSU Los Angeles, Cal Poly Pomona, and San Diego State. This academic year the 38,000-student Cal State Long Beach campus is going to join the ranks. Barbara and I are working with the S4S staff to recruit other CSU campuses to implement this indirect and non-monetary approach to fighting poverty.
Obviously, the major goal of the S4S program is to provide shoes for those who lack any or adequate footwear. However, doing it at a university has a number of other important advantages. It is a campus-wide project involving students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni and corporate donors. It also allows the campus to reach out into the community and collect shoes from local schools and cities as well as churches, synagogues, temples, gyms, and a vast variety of other types of organizations. The public relations and organizational pay-offs have been incredible. Let’s fight poverty collectively!!!
Barbara and I, in conjunction with the S4S staff, would love to work with colleges and universities throughout the country to expand the marvelous program!!
S4S Team 10/03/2017
Thank you, Bill and Barbara, for all these years of great support. We appreciate you and our partnership!
Soles for souls does an amazing job not only giving shoes for providing care for their recipients! They have fantastic organization, communication and follow through with their partners as well as volunteers!
I have worked with them as a photographer and as a volunteer for multiple trips and cannot say enough positive things about the entire staff !
S4S Team 10/02/2017
Briana, we appreciate you so much! Thank you for your incredible support all these years.
I have worked with Soles4Souls in various different ways. First when I was working with a start-up "business for good" company. Soles4Souls was one of our non-profit partners and one of my favorite to work with. They have a powerful and direct mission, great staff, and wonderful media that conveys their work to supporters. Soles4Souls goes above and beyond to make sure the work they are doing is serving each individual community in a helpful and meaningful way. Additionally they monitor and update their programs to stay up to date with ever evolving community needs. I recently also got to travel to Haiti with Soles4Souls. I was impressed by the contacts they have made and their allowance to let local leaders guide Soles4Souls' work based on what they know would help their community. As for my background, I have a degree in International Studies and have experience with a number of non-profits, foundations, and "business for good". Soles4Souls is one of the best and sets a standard for both stepping back and letting local leaders guide their work and constantly evolving in order to stay in touch with each community they work in and it's specific needs.
S4S Team 08/19/2017
Thanks Logan! We’re so grateful for your voice and all the ways you’ve partnered with us over the years.
Soles4Souls has been an absolute pleasure to work with. They are doing amazing work around the world. Everyone in the organization is so dedicated and committed to improve lives and wear out poverty. We are truly honored to be partnered with them.
S4S Team 10/03/2017
Sandra, so grateful for your partnership. Thanks for all you do in support of those making their way out of poverty!
Soles4Souls, as one of its community outreach programs, offers local high school seniors at 3 participating Title 1 status schools in the Nashville area the opportunity to experience micro-enterprise firsthand. Through a collaboration with teachers, school leaders, and Belmont University, Soles4Souls teaches students relevant skills related to marketing, collaboration, social enterprise, college access and readiness, cultural awareness, civic engagement, and project management over the course of a school year. Students collaborate to collect shoes in their community, and then--once they complete a project, service hours, a research paper, a portfolio, and a presentation to stakeholders--they are given the opportunity to serve those in need through a four-day shoe distribution. Not only does this program change the lives of children receiving shoes, but it also changes the lives of students in Nashville as they engage globally to combat poverty in a very tangible way. Students often report after their year-long experience that they have a passion for helping others, a commitment to continue serving, and a desire to learn from new cultures and communities.
S4S Team 07/28/2017
Jacob, it is an honor for Soles4Souls to support Metro Nashville Public Schools. We are grateful for our partnership and look forward to many years of working together!
I teach sustainable business practices at The Ohio State University. A few years ago I became acquainted with S4S and agreed to have an MBA class perform a variety of projects to assist S4S to sharpen its outreach program. My students and were very impressed with the quality and dedication of the S4S staff and their commitment to using best practices to improve and expand their impact. This is an organization worthy of support by us all in whatever way we can help.
S4S Team 07/28/2017
OSU is a top notch university and we couldn't be prouder of our many projects together. Thank you!
As a public high school teacher, I was introduced to Soles 4 Souls through project-based learning. My students and I were truly blessed to be in partnership with this incredible organization; they learned so much more than I could provide in the classroom. Soles 4 Souls included opportunities to expand their reading, writing, and social skills-even more so their awareness of the world and its cultures. I am so proud of their accomplishments! We have so many more students who have never experienced the joy of giving, and Soles 4 Souls is such reassurance that my students will learn their true purpose as a human being.
S4S Team 07/28/2017
It is such a pleasure for us to be a part of the students' lives. Very glad that we can help them become globally competent. Appreciate all of your hard work!
Incredible people make up the team of this charity with their heart in the right place and believing they can make the world a better place. Altruism is rare and precious, and the experience of giving someone a smile because of the items S4S collects is worth more than all the money in the world!
I have travelled with S4S multiple times, to very remote areas. They do amazing work, both at the level of the individual (a young orphan or school child getting new durable shoes); and programmatically; by launching micro-enterprises, and being able to deliver sturdy shoes for a fraction of the price of other groups. They really care; it is a pleasure to support them. - Tim
S4S Team 07/28/2017
Tim, thank you for your amazing partnership and support. We appreciate you!
Soles4Souls has been a reliable donations partner for our company for years. They have the full package: a powerful mission and the back-end support to make the donation process easy and streamlined. We could not be happier with our partnership with Soles4Souls!
S4S Team 07/28/2017
Michael, we are most grateful for your support. Thank you for your partnership and trust!
I've been involved with Soles4Souls since 2014 and since that time I've collected 1134 pairs of gently worn shoes. It's such an easy concept to get your arms and heart around.....everyone has a pair of shoes or two that can be donated and there are so many children in this world that desperately need a pair of shoes in order to attend school and stave off a bad infection that potentially could kill them. I also love the concept of sustainability and the work that Soles4Souls does with the individuals who set up shop to sell the shoes therefore putting food on their tables and roofs over their heads.
I wanted to go full circle and see my work at hand so in March 2017 I took an amazing trip to the Dominican Republic. My thoughts on the trip ended up in verse;
Life is found in giving a piece of your life away
Giving a slice of your heart and a bit of your soul to someone in need
Getting outside of yourself and looking into the eyes of another...with care
Being present in the moment
Being here for them
A wash of the feet
Creating a memory that can't be taken away
Life is heavy, life is light, life is meant to be shared with others
I encourage all of you to begin to collect those shoes or donate dollars to the cause of Wearing Out Poverty. I continue to collect shoes for Soles4Souls and can't wait until my next trip with them.
S4S Team 08/19/2017
What a beautiful poem, Mimi! It’s amazing what can happen when we leave our comfort zones for a while and look into the eyes of those in need, seeing and honoring their humanity. Thank you for being a part of this work!
AMAZING team! Can't wait to he's to Haiti in April!
Traveled to Guatemala with S4S in 2013. The need there was incredible. We gave shoes to children who usually walked barefoot to school. They had cuts, bruises, and calluses on their feet. One little girl cried as I washed her feet. All she could say was "thank you." We also visited a dump where people live. They go through the trash to find food, clothes, and things to make their homes. They don't get the luxury of new things. I will never forget the looks on their faces when we handed out shoes. I've never felt so needed. It's humbling. You don't realize how lucky you are until you see people in real need. And I got to help them. This organization is amazing. S4S takes the simple act of giving out shoes to a whole new level. What this organization does is give people hope. Give them peace and joy. Traveling with S4S changed my life.
A group of friends and I have partnered with Soles4Souls for the past 2 years and are in the process of working with them again in 2016. We have collect 2,000 shoes in honor of a dear friend who lost her battle with Cervical Cancer in 2013. This is a wonderful organization that is making a HUGE impact on the world through something as simple as shoes. We feel very blessed to be able to have such an amazing partnership with them! Give HOPE. Give SHOES.
I just came across this charity and think they are doing an awesome job of providing shoes for those in need!
Soles4Souls commitment to "Wearing out Poverty" is outstanding. They are organized, personable with genuine staff members who put 100% in to everything they work on. I have never been happier working with a charity and love the simpleness of giving shoes to give someone a chance in life.
I am so glad and thankful that there is an organization that helps children in needs . Reviewing the good causes that the volunteers and donors have done to these children made my heart melt of overwhelmed joy and gives me the relief feeling of justice that was given to these children and that is why i am so proud of Pusong Pinoy. Not only that, Pusong Pinoy is definitely a transparent non-profit organization. I myself have experienced that this organization really ensures all the donations will surely reach the intended beneficiaries. This organization has helped the students of our Society. We are grateful to you for all the helps and blessings we have received from you.
With Love and prayers,
Sr. Christina SKD
General of Society of Kristudasis.
I have went on two Travel4Souls trips and had an amazing time! I also went with my church on a mission trip and we distributed shoes via Soles4Souls as well this past month.
Kelly H is an amazing leader and has a heart of gold. I visited both Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Haiti over the past year and have helped give over 1000 pairs of new shoes to children, as well as, used shoes to many others. I believe in continuing to engage my friends and neighbors throughout my community in shoe drives and hopefully encouraging them to also be a part of Travel4Souls one day! I highly recommend signing up for a trip. It'll change your life!
Soles4souls was a wonderful experience and would highly recommend it to anyone! I enjoyed the people, culture of Tanzania and the beauty of the country! I never realized ALL I would personally take away from such a great trip! I thought about all I would have to do and give to make this trip possible, but the return on your time and expense is PRICELESS :)
My advise to anyone thinking about joining Soles4souls, is this "just do it". Find a country you would like to visit and sign up, everything else will fall into place and it will be a trip you will remember for a life time!
Tanzania Trip 2013
I went to Costa Rica with Sole4Souls and experienced so much. Not only do they help connect us with the children who we passed out shoes to but we got to see some of the city and did some touring as well. Everything was well organized, and we were cared for very well and the coordinator made sure we felt at home the entire time.