Soles4Soles: Helping Those Near and Far


By Heather Listhartke

Americans throw away more than 68 pounds of shoes and clothing per person per year. The EPA estimates only 15% is donated or recycled. With so many people in need, it doesn’t make sense why people throw out so much when it can be passed on to those in need. For children and adults in many developing nations, where walking is the primary mode of transportation, shoes are not only wanted but necessary as shoes help keep children and adults healthy by preventing exposure to things like hookworms, threadworms, “jiggers,” and other diseases. They also keep children in school where they can earn an education and adults at work so they can support their families. People can help by donating to organizations that specifically collect these things to help out those in need.

Soles4Souls is just one of these non-profits fighting to prevent poverty. The organization, which is based out of Nashville, was originally founded as a disaster relief organization after philanthropists and shoe executives provided footwear to those most impacted by The Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In 2006, it was officially declared a non-profit organization. Since then, the organization has collected and distributed over 26 million pairs of shoes to those in need across 127 countries and in all 50 states. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the organization, and they continue to act as second wave responders still providing footwear, but also clothing to those in need during times of disaster. Soles4Souls long-term goal is to eradicate extreme poverty by 2050 through the help of kind people donating their time, money, and things.

The organization also works with local efforts. More than half of their distribution takes place in the United States. They have teamed up with Nashville Metro schools the past three years to give shoes to Metro children for the summer. They decided to help Nashville after learning that children make up about 30 percent of those living below Nashville’s poverty line. Just this past May, they gave away 10,000 pairs of shoes to pre-kindergarten and second grade students in the area.

For those wishing to make an impact with the organization, they can do so in three ways: Donate money, shoes, or travel with Soles4Shoes and help deliver shoes to those in need. Soles4souls delivers shoes internationally including Bolivia, Costa Rice, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Philippines, and Tanzania.

For more information, visit their website at

About The Village Church

The Village is a ew United Methodist Church in the Lenox Village/Nolensville area that began weekly worship gatherings in January 2016. At The Village, they believe that everybody needs a village, a place where you can belong and grow to become all you were created to be. They desire to serve and love their neighbors and community. The Village Church meets at 9a & 11a at Sunset Middle School. Learn more at