Date: Feb. 27th, 2017
Contact: Ryan Sondrup Phone: 720-989-8796

NexStep Real Estate Group is proud to partner with Land Title's Megan Aller and Soles4Souls for their 2017 annual shoe drive. This is our 6th year partnering with these two great organizations. What is Soles4Souls? Below is a beautiful summary of Soles4Souls philosophy by their very own Michele James.

"Soles4Souls is an organization that collects new and gently worn shoes in the US, and then distributes them around the world in 127 different countries with approximately 55% staying in the US. All types of shoes are appreciated...everything from tennis shoes to stilettos, hiking boots to house slippers, children's shoes to men's dress shoes...and ANYTHING in between. Every kind of shoe can be of use to someone. If the shoes are new or gently worn, they are distributed as they are received.

If they are more than gently worn, they are sent to Haiti, Honduras, or Tanzania, where the shoes are distributed to families who refurbish the shoes, thus creating a micro-enterprise, where people will then be able to feed their families or have a product to barter for other services. If they are even more worn, they are sent elsewhere, and the shoes are disassembled and made into other products. Nothing of use is discarded. If the shoes are even more worn, they are sent to Huntsville, Alabama, where the shoes are one of the products used in Waste to Energy. Soles4Souls will also try to match-up or recycle shoes that no longer have a mate.

Six months after the earthquake, I visited Haiti for the first time with Soles4Souls to distribute shoes, and my heart was so touched by what I saw, that I felt I had to do something, so I began collecting shoes. I have now been to Haiti four times and once to Tanzania to distribute shoes, and I have seen how great the need is. I know first hand how a pair of shoes can change a person's life. Shoes donated in Colorado can determine if someone in a distant land walks with dignity or becomes one of the more than 1 million people who die each year from infection or parasitic diseases caused from going barefoot. Children in Haiti, as well as other third world countries, must wear shoes to attend without shoes, children are denied an education.

To date, in Colorado, we have collected over 150,000 pairs of shoes which translates into over 94 tons saved from the landfill. When speaking of the numbers, it is easy to get lost in the statistics, but the facts are that 300 million children don't own a single pair of shoes, and we have such abundance, that Americans place approximately the same number of shoes, in the landfill each year. It is important to keep in mind that Colorado's contribution translates into over 150,000 people whose lives have been changed by something as simple as a pair of shoes. Your donations are greatly appreciated, as is your partnership in changing the lives of those who need your help."

Michele James
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