Bala Cynwyd, PA (August 4, 2015) – Attention anyone with a closet: Those shoes you no longer want are desperately needed to fight the human tragedy of global poverty.
That’s the message being delivered by First Financial Group, a general agency of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), which has launched a drive to collect 1,000 shoes to help the poor. Used and new shoes can be dropped off at their Bala Cynwyd, PA and New Castle, DE offices.
The shoes that First Financial Group collects will be delivered to Soles4Souls, an international anti‐ poverty organization that monetizes used shoes and clothing to create sustainable jobs and fund direct relief efforts, including distribution of new shoes and clothing. Founded in 2006, the organization has distributed more than 22 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries.
“We are supporting Soles4Souls because it is the definition of a social enterprise where solid business practices are used to create positive change in people’s lives,” said Harris Fishman, President and CEO of First Financial Group. “We are a strong supporter of Soles4Souls’ anti‐poverty mission, and we hope to take a big step in providing the organization with the used shoes they require to keep making a difference for people in need.”
Soles4Souls – which holds the highest rating from nonprofit watchdog Charity Navigator ‐‐ will convert every used pair of shoes collected from the community into a value‐added social currency to achieve positive change, both humanitarian and economic. Most of the reusable shoes will be distributed to microenterprise programs that create jobs in Haiti and other poor nations. The resulting revenue will help fund the free distribution of new shoes in the U.S. and overseas. Among its relief programs, the organization has distributed over 200,000 new pairs of shoes to help Philippine victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
The connection between poverty and shoes is well documented. The World Bank estimates that approximately 400 million children worldwide – more than the entire U.S. population – live in pronounced poverty. Millions of these children will grow up never having had a pair of shoes, resulting in significant ramifications for their health and wellbeing. Lacking proper footwear, countless children will not be able or permitted to attend school. And tens of millions of these poverty‐stricken, barefoot boys and girls will be infected with soil‐transmitted parasitic diseases like hookworm, causing lasting suffering and lifelong debilitation.
“The simple truth is that almost anyone with a closet has shoes they don’t wear, or an old pair that will just end up in a landfill,” said Fishman. “Give those to us, and know that you are taking a step to making the world a better place for all of us.”
Soles4Souls is a global social enterprise committed to fighting the devastating impact and perpetuation of poverty. The organization advances its anti‐poverty mission by collecting new and used shoes and clothes from individuals, schools, faith‐based institutions, civic organizations and corporate partners, then distributing those shoes and clothes both via direct donations to people in need and by provisioning qualified micro‐enterprise programs designed to create jobs in poor and disadvantaged communities. Since it began, Soles4Souls has distributed more than 22 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Soles4Souls is committed to the highest standards of operating and governance, and holds a four‐star rating with Charity Navigator. Please visit www.soles4souls.org for more information.
First Financial Group was established in 1886 and now serves over 38,000 clients with more than $1.46 billion in assets serviced*. We are headquartered in Bala Cynwyd, PA with offices throughout the region in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. FFG has a team of financial experts specializing in business planning, estate planning, retirement planning, executive and employee benefit programs and special needs financial planning for families. For more information, visit www.TheFirstFinancialGroup.com or call 610‐766‐3000.
*As of December 31, 2014. Includes values of MassMutual and subsidiary insurance companies’ insurance and retirement products and investment products offered through MML Investors Services, LLC, a MassMutual subsidiary.
Securities, investment advisory and financial planning services offered through qualified registered representatives of MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC. 2 Bala Plaza, Suite 901, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004, Tel: 610‐660‐9922.