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Thanksgiving Footwear Initiative For Haiti




Organization Successfully Completes Missions in Johannesburg, Swaziland, Malawi and Jamaica
Plans are underway for a fundraiser event to be held in October

(New York, NY -- Global Soles, a not-for-profit organization based in Brooklyn, New York, is scheduled to bring its 2009 footwear initiative to Haiti, in the capital city of Port-au-Prince.  The organization's goal is to distribute 5,000 pairs of shoes to families and individuals prior to the Thanksgiving holiday season.  Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with high rates of HIV/AIDS, infant mortality, unemployment, poverty and numerous problems affecting the public safety of its residents such as severe weather conditions, hurricanes and natural disasters. OnThursday, November 19, a group of missionaries will arrive in Port-au-Prince and will begin distributing footwear on Friday, November 20, Saturday, November 21and Sunday, November 22.  Prior to the mission trip, Global Soles is planning a fundraiser event to be held in October where all attendees will be required to bring a product donation and/or make a monetary contribution (further details are forthcoming). 
Haiti was selected as a location for this year's initiative following a trip to the country by Global Soles founder, Rotimi Akinnuoye in February 2007.  While on a medical mission, Akinnuoye along with Dr. Marcel Benoit, founder and President of Doc Tee Time and other medical professionals provided medical treatment for over 100 patients per day for four days. Most of the patients who were treated had no shoes.  They walked barefoot on dirt roads and were exposed to all kinds of bacteria, due to rusty metals and glass, urine, feces and contaminated water.  And as a result of these problems, potential medical conditions can lead to acute infections, including gangrene and sometimes amputations.  It was clear to Akinnoye that the need for footwear was great and necessary.  "Our goal at Global Soles is to provide 5,000 pairs of shoes to the children and adults living in the poorest slums of Haiti," states Akinnoye. "By providing them with shoes, we hope to prevent and reduce any medical incidents that can arise from walking barefoot. We look forward to a successful trip in November and continuing the organization's mission in Haiti for years to come." Global Soles is requesting NEW footwear ONLY for children and adults including sneakers, black dress shoes, rain and casual boots for work, school, church and play.  Socks are also needed for this mission.
Born on a mission trip to South Africa in August 2007, the vision of Global Soles was conceived by Akinnuoye, while visiting the country with his church, Emmanuel Baptist Church of Brooklyn, New York (Rev. Anthony L. Trufant, Senior Pastor). One year later in August 2008, Global Soles successfully completed its inaugural mission in Johannesburg, South Africa and Swaziland.  The small group of missionaries visited and distributed shoes to the Johannesburg Child Welfare Society in Soweto, coordinated by Dr. Nobs of COPES-SA.  The next day, they all traveled to Swaziland and handed out shoes to the people of that community at St. Paul Church.  
In addition to the various mission trips planned by Global Soles, the organization participates in various shoe donations.  In 2009, two shoe offerings were made in  Malawi and Jamaica.  In February, Global Soles partnered with the Carousel Children Center in Fort Greene, Brooklyn and provided 400 pairs of shoes to the children of the Malawi community.  And in May, the organization provided 200 pairs of children shoes to a community-based group in Jamaica.

Global Soles is a 501(c) 3 organization that solicits footwear and monetary contributions from individuals, groups, churches, faith-based organizations, non-profits, fraternities and sororities, corporations, community groups, and educational institutions.  For monetary contributions all checks should be made out to:  Global Soles, Inc. and mailed to Rotimi Akinnuoye, 248 Clifton Place, Brooklyn, New York 11216.
For additional information on Global Soles, please visit   

Product donations can also be shipped via mail to:
Self Storage America                                      
c/o Rotimi Akinnuoye                                     
45 Clinton Avenue                                          
Brooklyn, New York 11205        

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