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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Soles4Souls

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Disaster Aid, Emergency Assistance, Human Services, International, International Development, Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness & Relief

Mission: Soles4Souls creates sustainable jobs and provides relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world.

Programs: Distribution of gik in microenterprise - soles4souls (s4s) collects shoes from the footwear industry, including manufacturing, wholesale and retail oriented companies. These donations include first-quality new shoes, shoes with minor defects, and customer returns. S4s also collects shoe donations from the general public through shoe drives hosted by individuals, civic groups, schools, churches, and retail businesses. Used shoes are graded and used in support of microenterprise initiatives in developing nations. These shoes provide a livelihood for many impoverished families, spurring local development as well as providing access to low-cost footwear in areas where there may be no alternatives. Soles4souls also receives donations of clothing and accessories from the apparel industry. These donations include new clothing from first-quality inventories, customer returns, defective products, and items with cosmetic deficiencies. Clothing either damaged or in need of repair is used in support of microenterprise initiatives in developing nations. As with footwear, this sustainable effort ultimately advances the global fight against poverty. Additionally, every pair of shoes and piece of clothing distributed or placed in microenterprise operations keeps the product out of landfills. The microbusiness enterprise distributed gik with a fair value of approimately $66,700,000 - $38,000,000 of shoes and $28,700,000 of clothing and other supplies. Grants within the gik category are made to direct foreign not-for-profit partners.

disaster relief and free distribution of shoes and clothing - through our extensive network of qualified charitable partners (churches, schools, civic organizations), as well as through our s4s travel program, new shoes and clothing are distributed to people in need both in the u. S. And internationally suffering from conditions of poverty or the effects of natural disasters. Free distributions grants are made to domestic partner agencies, foreign not-for-profit direct partner agencies, foreign travel distribution trips or to individuals as part of other free distributions. Travel4souls - volunteers from across the united states, canada and australia join s4s staff on distribution trips to various countries, and in doing so experience first hand providing shoes and clothing to people in the most desperate situations. During the year, teams visited haiti, jamaica, costa rica, honduras, domican republic, puerto rico, ecuador & guatemala on a total of 25 of these trips, personally giving over 21,750 pairs of shoes to children and families in orphanages, schools, villages, and even tent cities.

Community Stories

106 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Rebecca Berkeley B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I traveled with my 10 year old daughter (celebrated 11 during the travel) on the Guatemala trip. This experience was so incredibly transformative for both of us. There is nothing that can compare to serving along side your child in this way. S4S had personal relationships and partnerships in country that provided access to places we'd never seen without having been a part of this trip. We traveled from remote mountain tops to more urban city centers and experienced the needs of all of these communities. The travel group allowed for close connections and created friendships that I will have for a lifetime. The greatest testament to this organization is the fact that everyone else in my group had been on multiple trips before. I cannot say enough positive things. This trip and our leader Tiffany had major impact. I have never met such big hearted people. We will be traveling with them again!

Comments ( 1 )

S4S Team Rebecca, thank you for your incredible support and for allowing us to be a part of your family. We look forward to many more trips together so we can make this world a better place one shoe at a time. Forever grateful to you.

William T. M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This excellent nonprofit has an international reach that touches the lives of many poor children and adults. The shoes Soles4Souls provide improve the health and wellbeing individual recipients in immeasurable ways. In addition, the distribution of needed shoes in undeveloped nations is achieved through micro-enterprise which lifts people out of poverty. The Soles4Souls organization is efficient and easy to work with. They improve the lives of many people worldwide and more than achieve their goal of "wearing out poverty." I report this as a person who interfaced with S4S, collected shoes at my local level and passed them on to the organization for distribution.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went on Soles4Souls Haiti trip. It was such a great and life-changing experience. Seeing the joy of those people after receiving shoes was something I will never forget. Thank you Soles4Souls!

Robert A.2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I joined the staff of Soles4Souls three years ago as the Chief Financial Officer. I've worked in nonprofit for almost 30 years and have always enjoyed the challenging but relaxed environment of nonprofits. At Soles4Souls, it seems there are always wonderfully-exhilarating challenges. The difference is the atmosphere of "TEAM work" at Soles4Souls which makes everything so possible!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Soles4Souls is such a fantastic organization. The work that they do with not only providing shoes for those in need and their micro enterprise business is top notch. I have seen and met those who have had life change due to their programs. I have traveled with them to Haiti and the partnerships they have made and the impact on the community is one of excellence.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have watched Souls for Souls' growing impact over the past years under dedicated leadership Buddy Teaster and and his committed team. I could not be more impressed and will continue my enthusiastic financial support .

Rod A.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I love Soles4Souls! I recently returned from a trip where I witnessed the work of S4S first-hand. Having recently joined the S4S team, I have to admit I was a little skeptical as to the real impact being made. But when I saw it in person and talked to the people who are benefitting from the programs, I was blown away. Children living in poverty are getting the shoes they desperately need. And the entrepreneurs who are selling shoes to earn a living -- their lives have been absolutely transformed!

Mason Y.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Soles4Souls has changed my life, and I will support S4S until the day I die!!

Leesa H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

S4S is an incredible organization that helps both in the US and abroad. Seeing the joy of a child's smile getting a new pair of shoes is truly magical! Both of my children have done shoe drives on their own and gotten so much out if the experience! The staff is so knowledgeable and make the process easy. Get involved with S4S now and not only change the life of someone in need, but change yours in the process.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have for several years watched the progress of this incredible organization. What wonderful things they are doing for women empowerment and for the improvement of daily life for people all over the world. I happily watched our local church collect over 350 pairs of shoes for this worthwhile endeavor. Folks even went out and bought new shoes for toddlers and children. It lifted up our community every bit as much as it lifted those in need.

Parker M.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Impact driven organization. Creates retail entrepreneurs in some of the most challenging markets worldwide, with your old shoes.

Leigh M.2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I sit on the Canadian Board and can't say enough about this incredible organization-I have seen first hand the power of a pair of shoes. The micro enterprise component of S4S is so inspiring and IS ending the cycle of proverty for people all over the world.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've served on many nonprofit boards and this nonprofit is one of the best. Not only is it extremely transparent and well-managed, but every dollar contributed turns into $40 in economic impact.

Pattie Farris G.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Soles4Souls truly lives its core values - Transparency, Entrepreneurial, Accountable and Meaningful. They turn shoes and clothing into opportunity thru their micro enterprise program - adding hope to others lives.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Soles4Souls is making a huge difference in the world! They are creating sustainable jobs and having an enormous impact in numerous countries that desperately need help.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Soles4Souls mission is to Wear Out Poverty. The amazing team and group of volunteers is doing a spectacular job to make that happen! I have had the opportunity of traveling with S4S multiple times and I can’t say enough great things. I would highly recommend both traveling with them and donating to their mission.

Comments ( 1 )

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S4S Team 08/09/2018

Milledge, your vision and guidance are driving forces for our mission. Thank you for your incredible support!

1 Buddy T.

Donor

Rating: 5

First, I work at Soles4Souls as the CEO, so I am very biased. But I also am a donor, have traveled with my family and friends on S4S trips and spend a lot of my time telling the S4S story to those who are thinking about supporting us with donations of time, money and shoes & clothes. I believe in this mission and work.

I have seen, first hand and often, the great things that people do when given the opportunity, whether that's a free pair of shoes that provides the opportunity to go to school, shoes that entrepreneurs sell to create an income, or the opportunity to travel with us on a service trip or to collect shoes. All of these things are make the world a better place and I'm proud to be part of an organization who helps make that possible.

Brynn W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the unique opportunity to travel with S4S to Honduras in June of 2018. While there, I met the little girl in the first picture.S4S went to this school in May of 2018 but did not have enough time to get to all the kids. So we went back to the school to give the rest of the kids their shoes. My group was rather large and at this distribution, we were split into two small groups. I had begun playing catch with her and she kept saying, "Yo quierro zapatos" which translates to "I want shoes". I took her over to our S4S rep. who spoke to her teacher. She then informed me the girl did not receive shoes in May and could receive them that day. Through this experience with the girl and the other distributions, I learned that unconditional love and happiness can go a long way. The experience in Honduras shaped my life in ways I never thought possible and have S4S to thank for that. If I ever have the chance in the future, I would travel with them again in a heartbeat.

1 Katie Z.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My Soles4Souls trip to Guatemala was an experience I’ll never be able to replicate. It gave me new passions and magnified the values I had. Working with Kristen and CeCe was so special and the family bond that was created over the course of the week is something I’ll always treasure. This nonprofit stands for everything you could possibly want and is filled with the most selfless and generous people. I would volunteer with Soles4Souls again in a heartbeat, and I intend to in the very near future!

Comments ( 1 )

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S4S Team 11/14/2018

Thank you so much for joining us and sharing your incredible passion with us. Can't wait for the next time!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Best experience of my life! My group went to Honduras for the week and went to 4 different distributions. Soles 4 souls was incredible and it was a life changing trip. Soles 4 souls organized food, hotels, all of our distributions, and our trip to see a waterfall! I got to meet so many beautiful people and provide so many children with a brand new pair of shoes. We also got to see first hand how people’s lives are completely turned around with the soles4 souls enterprise program.

Comments ( 1 )

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S4S Team 11/14/2018

Thank you, Ryleigh, for sharing your time and talent with us on the ground. So grateful for your service!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Previously, I have been able to volunteer on different service and mission trips, but I had never traveled for one out of the country. This past summer, I was fortunate enough to participate in the Soles4Souls service trip to Honduras with my organization. Our organization has partnered with S4S the last 4 years so I had heard nothing but great things on how they arrange their trips.

The whole process was easy to register and was well prepared for all of our pre-travel necessities including what to pack, what to have done with immunization shots, etc. Going into the trip, I thought it would just be another service outing with current coworkers from my organization along with the representatives with Soles4Souls. Little did I know that we would become a very close unit of friends from different backgrounds devoting our time together and made the whole experience that much better. It was amazing to see firsthand how everything was handled and made the transition to step in and volunteer my time extremely easy and has made me look forward to going on future service trips with Soles4Souls because of their passion and desire to help others out when needed.

Comments ( 1 )

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S4S Team 11/14/2018

We are so incredibly grateful for your commitment to our mission. Thank you for being such a great partner in every way. Thank you!

Donor

Rating: 5

At our company, BioPed Footcare, we've been blessed to have traveled on 3 group trips with Soles4Souls, with a 4th trip planned for next February. Travelling abroad on a shoe distribution is a humbling experience where you experience the full range of emotions, usually ending in a deep appreciation for the power of the human spirit! It's amazing to see the Micro Enterprise program at work and to meet some of the entrepreneurs who have been empowered by the program. In our case, it is thanks to the donations from our customers - one used pair of shoes at a time - that allow us to travel as well as build some amazing relationships here at home! Every step of the way, our Partners at Soles4Souls were there to support, assist and inspire us. The travel coordinators and in country partners are incredibly talented ad made everyone feel safe and involved. We could not have achieved such an amazing outcome on our own.