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Sports Chalet collects nearly 1 million pairs of shoes for the Haiti relief effort

February 5, 2010 | 11:27 am

Sportschalet Sporting goods retailer Sport Chalet and shoe charity Soles4Souls joined forces Jan. 15 in an effort to collect footwear for victims of last month's devastating earthquake in Haiti.

In less than two weeks, more than 950,000 pairs of gently worn men's, women's and children's shoes were dropped off at Sport Chalet’s 55 stores.

"We are simply floored by the overwhelming support that our partners at Sport Chalet have received,” Wayne Elsey, founder and chief executive of Soles4Souls, said in a statement. “Their donations will be used to bring hope to the people of Haiti as they struggle to rebuild their lives. We are proud of the public for stepping up to help those less fortunate."

Sport Chalet originally set a goal of collecting 55,000 pairs of shoes, with Soles4Souls aiming for a national goal of 250,000. After the first three days of the footwear drive, Sport Chalet had collected nearly 70,000 pairs, and decided to increase their goal to 250,000.

"Our customers are the best," said Craig Levra, chairman and CEO of Sport Chalet. "They have proven, in an overwhelming fashion, that they are truly generous people who gave from their hearts. We had children, communities, schools, businesses and local organizations all rallying to donate their new and gently worn shoes. Their outpouring of support for the besieged residents of Haiti is unbelievable, and we are very grateful that we could help."

-- Kelly Burgess, for Outposts, the L.A. Times outdoors blog.


Haiti quake relief: How to help

Multimedia coverage: The earthquake in Haiti

Photo: Sneakers for sale at Sports Chalet in Costa Mesa. Credit: Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times