My friend Crystal alerted me to this challenged today, which actually starts in 37 minutes PST. I really encourage you to check it out. As a Nike Tyke and Christian, I seriously consider myself a "Sole/Soul Collector." I'm going to try and post updates on this Challenged through out the 50 days.
Nashville, TN -- November 7, 2008 -- Soles4Souls, the international charity dedicated to providing free footwear to those in desperate need, has announced plans to launch a new fundraising website, www.50000shoes.com. The charity is challenging bloggers and social media users to raise funds for 50,000 pairs of new shoes in 50 days.
Through the new world of blogging, emailing, twittering, and through many other forms of online media, the non-profit hopes to achieve not only the fundraising goal, but also to spread their mission far and wide. The Soles4Souls www.50000shoes.com charity challenge will be live on Monday, November 10, 2008 and end on Wednesday, December 31, 2008.
"We have been utilizing the basic Web-based marketing tools such as e-mail blasts, social networking and YouTube videos. However, this website, www.50000shoes.com, is the natural evolution of our viral marketing plan," said Soles4Souls Founder and CEO, Wayne Elsey.
"A strong grass-roots effort, combined with an effective web-based social marketing platform, will allow Soles4Souls to form online community in a creative manner while being effective with raising funds and helping those in need," he said.
Both the tech savvy and the computer challenged can visit www.50000shoes.com to download their choice of four (4) Soles4Souls banners ad and blog widgets. Using the tools provided, users will be able to easily email, blog, or twitter the challenge to friends, family and co-workers as well as ask everyone to continue spreading the message.
"This is a huge challenge to meet a huge need. We want to virally attack the issues of poverty and make it simple for the end user to play a role in it," Elsey stated.
Donating is easy and takes just a click and a couple of minutes. It requires no shipping, no wrapping and no trips to the post office. The monetary donation is small with $5.00 buying two pairs of new shoes. Anyone can click and give, and all donations are tax-deductible.
After 50,000 pairs have been donated, one person (with a guest of their choosing) will be selected at random to deliver the shoes they purchased to someone in need on one of Soles4Souls' trips to Mexico!
"Can you imagine what it would be like to personally give someone their very first pair of shoes?! We look forward to connecting the tangibility of handing someone a pair of shoes with the virtual world of the Internet," Elsey said.
Social networking has become a very powerful communications tool; however, no one knows when life will hit hard or where a disaster will strike. One day you have everything you need; the next you may only have your life. A pair of shoes can help people begin the rebuilding process. Shoes not only bring hope, but in millions of cases they can save lives. It is estimated that Americans have 1.5 billion pairs of unworn shoes lying in their closets while over 300 million children around the world have never owned a pair of shoes. This is an opportunity to "Step Up" and to help Soles4Souls with their mission of "Changing the World, One Pair at a Time" with "One Click at A Time."