Children in Need to Get the Gift of Shoes This Holiday Season Thanks to Payless ShoeSource's Fourth Annual Payless Gives(TM) Shoes 4 Kids Program
Application Period Now Open for Hundreds of Non-Profit Organizations to Join Payless to Give $1.2 Million in Free, New Shoes to Children This Holiday Season
TOPEKA, Kan., Oct. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
Payless ShoeSource® is getting into the holiday spirit early this year with the launch today of its application period for non-profit organizations to join the retailer in its big holiday giving program, Payless Gives Shoes 4 Kids, where it will deliver more than $1.2 million of free shoes to children of families in need across the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and in 11 Latin American and Caribbean countries this holiday season.
To date, Payless has given $3.4 million in free shoes to children in need through the Payless Gives campaign. Now in its fourth year, Payless plans to give away approximately 50,000 pairs of new shoes in Dec. through a network of hundreds of localized charities. Payless teams up with local charities and gives these organizations free shoe coupons to give to the clients and constituents they serve. Payless said its Payless Gives charity partner network has included as many as 800 charities in years past and that this local, grass roots approach helps the company directly and more effectively reach children in need of shoes, as well as ensures widespread coverage across urban and rural areas.
Now through Oct. 31 Payless is inviting non-profit organizations located in the U.S. and Canada to apply at www.paylessgives.com. Charities in Puerto Rico, Latin America and the Caribbean will be selected in-country through a separate process. Selected partners will receive a quantity of shoe coupons to distribute to those they serve -- delivering the gift of new shoes to children that need them the most.
"Now in its fourth year, the goal of the Payless Gives Shoes 4 Kids program remains the same -- to provide a basic necessity, shoes, to children who might otherwise go without," said LuAnn Via, CEO of Payless. "The success of the program over the past three years, and the number of children and families we have been able to assist, continues to drive our efforts. Unemployment is still very high, affecting many families that still struggle to provide their children with important essentials. This is especially challenging during the holidays, and together with our hundreds of charity partners, we hope to make a bigger than ever impact this year."
In addition to its unique grassroots approach to the giving, the Payless Gives holiday shoe-giving campaign is unique among other shoe drives and giving programs because the children are able to come to a Payless store (more than 4,000 across North America), shop and be fitted for their own shoes, and walk away with new shoes.
This year, Payless expects to continue building a powerful international network of charity partners to give shoes to needy children in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and 11 Latin American and Caribbean countries including the Dominican Republic, Trinidad & Tobago, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, Jamaica and Colombia.
Shoes: A True Gift
A striking number of children don't have shoes that fit. Studies show that properly fitting shoes can enhance self confidence in children and aid in their proper development and growth. Across the globe, it continues to be difficult for struggling families to cover basic needs, making the holidays a time of stress instead of a celebration with family.
"For many families, the need for a new pair of shoes is a fun, quick trip to the store. But for others it is a financial burden and an impossible expense," said Via. "We are here to help. In this season of giving we want as many children as possible to experience the simple joy of a shoe-shopping trip and new pair of shoes. We want them to walk into one of our stores, see the amazing range of styles available, and point to the pair that makes them smile."
Interested charities in the U.S. and Canada can apply and get full details on the application process at www.paylessgives.com. A baseline requirement for acceptance as a Payless Gives charity partner is 501(c) 3 status or the Canadian equivalent.
About Payless Gives
Payless first launched the Payless Gives Shoes 4 Kids program domestically in 2008 through a unique grass roots approach by partnering with localized non-profit partners throughout America to join in the giving campaign to give away $1 million worth of free, new shoes. In 2009, Payless extended the program beyond the U.S. to reach families in Canada, Puerto Rico and across Latin America and the Caribbean. To date, Payless has given $3.4 million in free shoes to children in need through the program.
About Payless & Collective Brands, Inc.
Payless ShoeSource, Inc., a unit of Collective Brands, Inc., is the largest specialty family footwear retailer in the Western Hemisphere and is dedicated to democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories for all to enjoy. Payless offers customers a range of well-recognized brands such as Dexter®, Airwalk®, Champion®, Above the Rim® and Smart Fit®, as well as designer labels by Christian Siriano, Lela Rose, Isabel Toledo and Silvia Tcherassi. As of the end of the second quarter 2011, the company operated nearly 4,500 stores throughout the Americas and an online store (www.Payless.com) and also currently has more than 100 franchised stores located in Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
Collective Brands, Inc. (NYSE: PSS) is a leader in bringing compelling lifestyle, fashion and performance brands for footwear and related accessories to consumers worldwide. The company operates three strategic units covering a powerful brand portfolio, as well as multiple price points and selling channels including retail, wholesale, ecommerce and licensing. Collective Brands, Inc. includes Payless ShoeSource, focused on democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories through its nearly 4,500-store retail chain, with its brands Airwalk®, Dexter® and Champion®, as well as designer collections by fashion designers Christian Siriano, Lela Rose, Isabel Toledo and Silvia Tcherassi; Collective Brands Performance + Lifestyle Group, focused on lifestyle and performance branded footwear and high-quality children's footwear sold primarily through wholesaling, with its brands including Stride Rite®, Keds®, Sperry Top-Sider® Robeez®, and Saucony®, among others; and Collective Licensing International, the brand development, management and global licensing unit, with such youth lifestyle brands as Airwalk®, Above The Rim®, Vision Street Wear®, STRIKEFORCE(TM), Clinch Gear(TM), Sims®, Lamar® and LTD®, World Snowboarding Championships(TM) and Hind®. Information about, and links for shopping on, each of the Collective Brand's units can be found at www.collectivebrands.com.
SOURCE Payless ShoeSource