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Volvo Car Open working with Sloane Stephens to fight poverty

Sloane Stephens (Provided)

DANIEL ISLAND, S.C. – 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 American tennis star, Sloane Stephens and the Volvo Car Open, which has launched a drive to collect 5,000 shoes to help achieve positive change, both humanitarian and economic, via Soles4Souls. Starting now, used and new shoes can be dropped off at the Family Circle Tennis Center, 161 Seven Farms Drive, and all O2 Fitness Clubs located in the Charleston area. During the Volvo Car Open, April 1st – 9th donation boxes will be at the front gates.

For each person that donates a pair of shoes, the Volvo Car Open will provide a voucher redeemable at its box office for two general admission tickets during the tournament.

The shoes that Sloane Stephens 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 26 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries.

Stephens has partnered with the Nashville-based charity to collect new and used shoes and clothing and redistribute to people in need through direct donations and micro-enterprise partners.

Since its inception in 2006, Soles4Souls has distributed over 26 million pairs of shoes to the underprivileged in 127 countries, including Kenya, Thailand, Nepal, and Haiti, as well as all fifty U.S. states.

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 well being. 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 Stephens. “Give those to us, and know that you are taking a step to making the world a better place for all of us.”

“Sloane and Volvo Car Open 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 Bob Moran, Volvo Car Open Tournament Director. “Sloane is 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.”

To donate to Soles4Souls in Charleston, South Carolina, bring your shoes to:

• The Volvo Car Open, 161 Seven Farms Drive Charleston, SC 29492

• O2 Fitness Clubs in Charleston County

Tickets for the 2017 Volvo Car Open are now on sale. For more information on tickets, call 800.677.2293 or visit http://www.volvocaropen.com. Patrons can purchase single session tickets, or choose from a variety of ticket and travel packages.

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