World Vision, Payless to Launch Good Shoe Project

World Vision is partnering with Payless ShoeSource this holiday season to help provide shoes to children in need.

Beginning next month, whenever a customer purchases the Airwalk Hope shoe, Payless will give a free pair of kids' shoes to a child in Central America.

The Good Shoe Project follows in the footsteps of Payless' 2008 giving program, Payless Gives Shoes 4 Kids. Over the past two years, Payless has given away a total of $2.2 million worth of free shoes to children in need in the United States, Canada and in 10 Latin American countries.

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LuAnn Via, CEO of Payless ShoeSource, said in a statement, "We are pleased to partner with our new partner, World Vision, and our long-time brand partner, Airwalk, on The Good Shoe Project. This giving program was created in direct response to feedback from our shoppers, who told us that they are passionate about helping others and want to join us in our shoe giving efforts."

Since 1950, World Vision, an international evangelical relief and development organization has set out to "follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God."

David Owens, World Vision's vice president of corporate development, noted how shoes are an "unfamiliar luxury" for many children, especially in rural villages.

"Shoes can improve a child's overall health and well-being and bolster self-esteem. Shoes can open the door to education in remote areas. Kids can play, run and jump because they know their feet are protected," he stated. "Ultimately, shoes have the power to change a child's point of view from poverty to potential."

Bruce Pettet, CEO of Collective Licensing International, owner of the Airwalk brand, noted that the shoe is "cool and on-trend."

"The timing for this program is perfect for the upcoming holiday," he said. "[It] makes a special holiday gift that gives back in more ways than one."

The Good Shoe Project launches Dec. 15 and ends Feb. 14.

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