To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Kids In Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) will honor three supportive industry leaders at a gala fundraiser including Wayne Elsey, founder and chief executive officer of the shoe charity Soles4Souls. Elsey will be awarded the K.I.D.S. Humanitarian Award for his organization’s significant and frequent donations. As K.I.D.S.’s second largest product distributor, Soles4Souls has dispensed $14.5 million worth of shoes and apparel during the last three years to people in need. Last summer the charities worked together during Barefoot Week, during which sandals were provided to children in five major cities. This year Soles4Souls provided K.I.D.S. with shoes to distribute to earthquake victims in Haiti and people affected by the Tennessee floods.
“Were it not for Wayne Elsey and Soles4Souls, we could not provide nearly the amount of shoes to people in need that we do, and shoes are one of the most critical and highly requested products we distribute,” K.I.D.S. chairman Peter Rosenthal says. “The relationship has grown with distributions of continually larger amounts of product, but more importantly, in helping communities become more viable. Their donated shoes have made a real difference in the lives of people who previously faced limitations simply because they did not have the appropriate footwear for school, play or work.”
Executive vice president of Sears Holding Corp. John Goodman will receive the K.I.D.S. Retail Award. The K.I.D.S. Achievement Award will be presented to Oscar Feldenkreis, president and COO of Perry Ellis Corp. Rosenthal says each of the honorees embody passion and commitment to helping children and their families achieve a better, more productive life – the same mission K.I.D.S. was founded on 25 years ago. Since its inception, the charity has provided more than 68 million underprivileged and disaster-struck children with close to $1 billion of new clothing, toys, basic necessities and more.
The gala event will be held in New York on Dec. 1, 2010. For more information about tickets and sponsorships, call (845) 758-6403, and learn more about how you can help at www.KIDSdonations.org.