National Premium Inc. Donates 138 Pairs of Shoes to Soles4Souls

Andy Voit, national account director with National Premium, introduced the Soles4Souls program to the company in January.

National Premium employees donated more than 130 pairs of shoes to help the victims of disasters and families in need.

Some of the Soles4Souls collection boxes at the National Premium office.

Promotional products distributor's home office becomes an official drop site for shoe donations for Soles4Souls.

National Premium Inc., a Top 50 promotional products distributor based in Pewaukee, Wis., has partnered with the charity Soles4Souls to donate more than 100 pairs of shoes to victims of natural disasters and individuals living in poverty.

In January, Andy Voit, national account director for National Premium, became involved with the Soles4Souls charity and asked his coworkers to donate footwear that was old or that their families had outgrown. “Everyone has those old worn-out shoes or those shoes they never wear anymore,” he said. “Rather than toss them out or store them in your closet for another few years, I thought we could send them to people who really need them.”

Voit set up a collection box in the National Premium headquarters for the week, but before long the box was overflowing with donations. By the end of the drive, National Premium’s employees had collected more than five boxes and bags of shoes for families in need. In total, 138 pairs of men’s, women’s and children’s shoes were collected for the charity.

“I was hoping to do this once per year,” Voit said. But interest was so great after just one week that he decided to take his plan to the next level. An official Soles4Souls drop box now will be permanently installed at National Premium’s headquarters. The company invites local industry members and area residents to use the drop box for their own shoe donations.

Soles4Souls was founded in 2004 following the devastating tsunami that hit Southeast Asia. Combining donations from footwear companies with contributions for citizens across the country, Soles4Souls aims to provide shoes to the victims of natural disasters, families living in poverty and the more than 300 children living without adequate footwear worldwide. As of 2012, Soles4Souls has donated more than 19 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries. The non-profit organization has since expanded to encompass the Clothes4Souls, Hope4Souls and Travel4Souls charities.

Scott Schmidt, president of National Premium, said, “I am so proud of Andy and the National Premium family for contributing so many pairs of shoes to this cause. It’s easy to do, and humbling to know that a gesture this small will make such a big difference in someone’s life.”

“I’m shocked and impressed with the amount of participation in the Shoe Drive,” Voit added. “A sincere thank you to all who participated.”

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