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Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship Collecting 50K Shoes to Help Soles4Souls in Fight Against Global Poverty

Soles4Souls and Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship Announce 50K Shoe Challenge In Fight Against Global Poverty (PRNewsfoto/Full Gospel Baptist Church Fell)

Soles4Souls and Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship Announce 50K Shoe Challenge In Fight Against Global Poverty (PRNewsfoto/Full Gospel Baptist Church Fell)

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 reformation organization partner Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International (FGBCFI), which has launched a 50K Shoe Challenge to collect 50,000 shoes to help the poor. Gently used and new shoes can be dropped off at select FGBCFI church sites in Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, and New Orleans.

Each pre-collection site has a goal of 10,000 shoes and the remaining 10,000 will be collected at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida at FGBCF’s MOMENTUM Conference 2017.  In celebration of the philanthropic partnership and FGBCF’s community outreach efforts, a music concert featuring James Fortune, promoting his new cd, “Dear Future Me,” will be held on Sunday, June 25 at 7:30pm where guests will be asked to donate shoes as their ticket for entry.

The shoes FGBCFI collects will be delivered to Soles4Souls–a non-profit that creates sustainable jobs and provides relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world. Founded in 2006, the organization has distributed more than 30 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries.

“Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International is a strong supporter of Soles4Souls’ disrupting the cycle of poverty mission, and we hope to take a big step in providing the organization with the gently used shoes they require to keep making a difference for people in need, ” says Bishop Joseph W. Walker III.

Soles4Souls 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 gently used 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., Canada and developing nations around the world.

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“I am deeply grateful for this partnership,” said Buddy Teaster, Soles4Souls’ CEO. “Bishop Walker’s understanding and support of our approach to creating sustainable economic opportunities for people in the developing world is profound. By fully engaging with members of the FGBCF, this powerful group will make a significant impact for thousands of women and their families. They are literally turning things in their closets that they no longer use into a roof over someone’s head, an extra meal a day and school for children desperate for an education.”

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 don’t have access to adequate footwear 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 Bishop Joseph W. Walker III.  “Give those to us, and know that you are taking a step to making the world a better place for all of us.”

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