Soles4Souls Event – Fighting Poverty With Shoes

Have you ever thought that discarded shoes can make the world a better place?  Attention anyone with a closet:  Those shoes you no longer want are desperately needed to fight the human tragedy of global poverty. 


That’s the message being delivered by Jeana Payne’s, NWI/Chicago City-Wide Shoe Drive, which has launched a drive to collect shoes to help the poor.  Used and new shoes can be dropped off at the following locations in Gary, Indiana; Clark Road MB Church 2841 Clark Road, (219) 944-0202,   New Mt. Moriah MB Church 1917 Carolina Street (219) 886-2555, Washington Street Church of God 2101 Washington Street (219) 866-7177, New Mount Sinai Baptist Church 4709 West 5th Avenue (219) 977-9844 and South Shore Health 353 Tyler Street (219) 886-7070. In East Chicago, Indiana; Holistic Community Coalition 3724 Main Street (219) 354-0249. In Illinois; Center of Independence 100 West Plainfield Road Ste. 100 Countryside, Illinois (708) 588-0833.  Please phone drop off locations for their business hours. For additional information, please contact Laurie “Jeana” Payne at 219-617-6493 or at email address [email protected]


The shoes that NWI City-Wide Shoe Drive collects will be delivered to Soles4Souls, an international anti-poverty organization that monetizes used shoes and clothing to create sustainable jobs and fund direct relief efforts, including distribution of new shoes and clothing. 


“NWI/Chicago City-Wide Shoe Drive is supporting Soles4Souls because it is the definition of a social enterprise where solid business practices are used to create positive change in people’s lives,” said Jeana Payne.  Jeana is a strong supporter of Soles4Souls’ anti-poverty mission, and she hopes to take a big step in providing the organization with the used shoes they require to keep making a difference for people in need.


Soles4Souls – which holds the highest rating from nonprofit watchdog Charity Navigator -- 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 reusable shoes will be distributed to microenterprise 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. and overseas.  Among its relief programs, the organization has distributed over 50,000 new pairs of shoes to help Philippine victims of Typhoon Haiyan.


The connection between poverty and shoes is well documented.  The World Bank estimates that approximately 400 million children worldwide – more than the entire U.S. population – live in pronounced poverty.  Millions of these children will grow up never having had a pair of shoes, resulting in significant ramifications for their health and well being.  Lacking proper footwear, countless children will not be able or permitted to attend school.  And tens of millions of these poverty-stricken, barefoot boys and girls will be infected with soil-transmitted parasitic diseases like hookworm, causing lasting suffering and lifelong debilitation. 


“The simple truth is that almost anyone with a closet has shoes they don’t wear, or an old pair that will just end up in a landfill,” said Miss Payne.  “Give those to us, and know that you are taking a step to making the world a better place for all of us.”


NWI/Chicago City-Wide used shoe drive for Soles4Souls information


  • October 1, 2014 and October 31, 2014, bring your used shoes of any kind to
  • Main Trailer Drop Off located at Clark Road MB Church 2841 Clark Road, Gary, Indiana 46404 or at other drop off locations.
  • For more information, please contact Laurie “Jeana” Payne at 219-617-6493 or email at [email protected]. Volunteers are welcomed to assist with event.




About Soles4Souls

Soles4Souls is a global not-for-profit institution dedicated to fighting the devastating impact and perpetuation of poverty. The organization advances its anti-poverty mission by collecting new and used shoes and clothes from individuals, schools, faith-based institutions, civic organizations and corporate partners, then distributing those shoes and clothes both via direct donations to people in need and by provisioning qualified micro-enterprise programs designed to create jobs in poor and disadvantaged communities. Since it began, Soles4Souls has distributed more than 22 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Soles4Souls is committed to the highest standards of operating and governance, and holds a four-star rating with Charity Navigator. Please visit soles4souls website for more information.


Photos: Laurie "Jeana" Payne

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