See How One Organization Connects Businesses with Soles4Souls to Do Good Around the Globe
This week you will be hearing from Dale Myers, head writer for The NALA an organization that offers small and medium sized businesses effective ways to reach customers in the digital age. One way is through their Charity Branding program which allows business to align with great causes such as Soles4Souls.
According to Statistic Brain, the annual revenue of the global footwear industry is approximately $52,175,000,000, while annual U.S. consumer footwear spending is approximately $29,750,000,000. Typically, the average American, be they a man or a woman, owns about a dozen pairs of shoes each. Some are worn on a regular basis, some just for special occasions, some only at work and some we just keep around for sentimental value. One study even found that 86 percent of women own at least one pair of shoes that they’ve never worn at all.
Conversely, 900 million people around the world live on less than $1.90 per day and may not have access to adequate footwear, for work, school or any occasion. This includes over 400 million children, all of whom could greatly benefit from shoes that are thoughtlessly thrown away each year in America, where they can take 30 to 40 years to decompose in landfills, a period of time in which many shoeless children of today will grow into middle-age adults having never owned a pair of shoes. Currently, a lot of these children do not attend school because walking great distances every day is unbearable without shoes. Furthermore, in many developing nations, shoes are required for children to attend school.
Children who live without access to adequate footwear are also susceptible to a number of diseases and debilitating conditions, which Soles4Souls aims to prevent via the collection and distribution of shoes. Disease also keeps children out of school, leaving them without an education and continuing the cycle of poverty. One of the deadliest diseases is hookworm, which can lead to stunted growth, decreased cognitive development, anemia, chronic fatigue and parasitic infections. If left untreated, which is oftentimes the case, parasites can result in internal poisons, the loss of limbs, chronic illness and even death. For this reason, it is imperative that people make a concerted effort to rid themselves of unwanted and/or unused shoes in an altruistic manner, such as donating them to children that are in dire need of shoes that can literally save their lives and allow them to attend school.
This cause cannot only be championed by individuals, but by businesses. Business owners are in a unique position to help by becoming official shoe drop-off locations, thus getting the word out and inspiring people to act. Business owners who want to help can also utilize the services of other businesses, such as the NALA which offers co-branding opportunities that not only do good in the world but help elevate these businesses within their communities through cause marketing initiatives. The NALA’s Charity Branding program enables businesses to align with great causes, such as Soles4Souls, to increase awareness and position them as leaders who care about making the world a better place for others.
Soles4Souls sends gently used shoes to micro-entrepreneurs, thus providing them with a resource to start and sustain small businesses. The revenue generated from this program helps Soles4Souls continue to provide new shoes, donated by retailers and manufacturers, to those in need. Soles4Souls provides short-term relief through its shoe distributions and long-term solutions to extreme poverty through this micro-enterprise program, enabling people to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.