|Pittsburgh Teen Partners with Soles4Souls™ to Aid Homeless People Nationwide with the Gift of Shoes|
Pittsburgh Teen Partners with Soles4Souls™ to Aid Homeless People Nationwide with the Gift of Shoes this Thanksgiving
Physicians also offering free foot screenings for hundreds of homeless people in twenty-five U.S. cities
Matthew Conti, an 18 year old college freshman, has witnessed firsthand the poor health of homeless people in his own community.Along with his father, Dr. Stephen Conti, an orthopedic surgeon at Pittsburgh's Allegheny Hospital, he has volunteered to serve Pittsburgh's homeless in shelters and missions on several occasions. The experience inspired Matt, his sister Laura and their father to create a unique non-profit organization called "Our Hearts to Your Soles" two years ago. The program is currently managed by Laura Conti who, at 16 years old, is expanding the organization into a nationwide network.
Matt, Laura and Dr. Conti were able to provide shoes to dozens of residents at Pittsburgh's Light of Life (a homeless shelter), where many were wearing shoes several sizes too small for their feet. Those aided were extremely grateful after trying on the new shoes, and the experience inspired the Conti Family to think even bigger and broaden this outreach to a national level.
Enter Soles4Souls, the international charity that collects and distributes new and gently worn shoes to needy people around the world. With help and support from Soles4Soles, Our Hearts to Your Soles has been able to screen, fit and provide footwear to over 1,000 homeless men so far.
"Soles4Souls is thrilled to be working with Our Hearts to Your Soles again this year,” said Wayne Elsey, Founder and CEO of Soles4Souls. "The health, comfort and well-being of those less fortunate in this country has been and will continue to be a priority for us.”
On Tuesday, November 20th, "Our Hearts to Your Soles" and Soles4Souls will be distributing more than 2,500 pairs of new shoes to homeless shelters in twenty-five U.S. cities, including Atlanta, Baltimore, New Orleans, Charlotte, Minneapolis, Rochester, and others. The ultimate goal of Soles4Souls and Our Hearts to Your Soles is to spread the vision of the Contis and continue to expand this nationwide program.
"As Our Hearts to Your Soles expands into a national program we are so thankful to be partnered with Soles4Souls and supported by the generosity of our individual and corporate sponsors,” said Laura Conti. "The problems facing homeless men are daunting and our hope is that providing medical care and new socks and shoes to these men will get them one step closer to rejoining mainstream life,” she said.
Some of the 25 cities and shelters that will be served by this national outreach event are:
For more information about "Our Hearts to Your Soles,” or to contact Matt, Laura and Dr. Conti, visit http://www.heartstosoles.com/ .
or call 866-521-SHOE.
Nashville-based Soles4Souls facilitates the donations of footwear, which are used to aid the hurting worldwide. Soles4Souls has donated more than 3 million pairs of shoes since its inception (one pair of shoes every 28 seconds). The charity was recently featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Shoe companies, retailers, and individuals can donate both new and "gently worn" footwear. Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS; donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. For more information about Soles4Souls, please call (866) 521-SHOE, or visit www.giveshoes.org or www.soles4souls.org.