Haiti Shoe Relief

Watching the images of devastation, hearing tales of lost lives and ruin caused by Haiti's recent earthquake, you probably didnt think about shoes. But it makes sense...

"We're collecting Shoes for Haiti," a young Kroger cashier explained as she scanned a can of peaches. "They say some Haitians are strapping pieces of tire tread to the bottoms of their feet because they don't have shoes." She finished packing the customer's groceries, pulled a white sheet of paper from a nearby stack and slipped into her bag. It was a simple flier, a few words that went straight to the point: Haiti Shoe Relief. Soles for Souls.

Watching the images of devastation, hearing tales of lost lives and ruin caused by Haiti's recent earthquake and aftershocks, you probably didnt think about shoes. But it makes sense, considering how many people have lost everything they own. The call for "Haiti Shoe Relief" has become a part of Kroger's plea to its grocery store customers. They are asking for new and gently worn shoes and sandals to meet the pressing need for footwear for the people of Haiti.

Kroger, whose corporate home is located in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a national leader in the grocery industry. When it comes to Haiti disaster relief, they have shown themselves to be community leaders as well. Taking advantage of a grocery store presence in most Cincinnati neighborhoods, Kroger stores have rallied Cincinnatians to contribute to theirHaiti Relief fund, making it as simple as shopping in the grocery store.

Just a few days after the earthquake destroyed homes and businesses across Haiti, Kroger grocery stores began collecting cash donations at each check out and on their website, Kroger.com. Their collection efforts, coupled with a substantial grant from the Kroger Foundation, have raised cash in excess of six hundred thousand dollars, money that will go toward purchasing food and other basic necessities for Haitian citizens.

The recent shoe campaign is operated in conjunction with Matthew 25 Ministries, a Disaster Aid and Humanitarian Relief agency located just north of Cincinnati in Blue Ash. All shoes collected at neighborhood Kroger stores will be turned over to the ministry for shipment and distribution in Haiti.

Matthew 25 Ministries had an assessment team on the ground in Haiti soon after the quake. Their efforts determined the greatest needs were cash donations, nonperishable food and bottled water, personal care products, first aid supplies and summer clothing. And now shoes.