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Soles4Souls and Ccilu International Hit the Road

Soles4Souls and Ccilu International Hit the Road From Haiti and Honduras to right here at home, 100K new shoes will be distributed

Ccilu (CHEE-loo) means “liberate” in Japanese, and part of the shoe company’s mission is to encourage independence and help build the self-image of those in need around the world. That commitment is reflected in “Step Forward, Give Back,” the brand’s charitable giving program. Upon launching Ccilu USA with a full-time presence in California last year, CEO Wilson Hsu sought a giving partner that could touch many lives. The natural fit was Soles4Souls, which to date has distributed over 30 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries and all 50 US states. In May of 2017, Ccilu USA made an initial donation of 10,000 pairs of new shoes for children in need throughout the Metro-Nashville School District. The event, in Soles4Soul’s hometown, spanned 41 schools, and included a $10,000 donation from Warner Music Nashville. In July, the brand upped its commitment to 100,000 pairs of new shoes, sponsoring the S4S travel program, which will oversee distributions in more than 7 countries, across 20-30 trips in 2018.


Already, as New Year’s 2018 approaches, Ccilu shoes have been distributed in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Soles4Souls estimates that 11K+ pairs of new Ccilu’s will be received in Haiti alone over the next 3-5 years, with the team traveling to several key areas. “Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and the poverty there absolutely takes your breath away,” says Tiffany Turner, Director of Outreach/Travel Coordinator for Soles4Souls. “We have given many children (and adults) their first pair of new shoes EVER. In spite of the economic, social and physical challenges they face, the spirit of the Haitian people is a beautiful, powerful thing. They take great pride in their country and their communities.” Additionally, the S4S micro-enterprise model provides entrepreneurs the ability to start small businesses by providing a steady supply of high-quality, low-cost product; a powerful and sustainable way for people to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.


The experience of giving is powerful, and S4S travel groups – comprised of staff and volunteers – range from 5-20 travelers, depending on the location and type of trip. “We partner with churches, schools and other organizations to coordinate shoe distributions in 4-6 communities over a few days,” Turner relates. “We also visit museums and offer other cultural experiences to groups.”

2018 will see Ccilu-S4S partnership trips to Jamaica, Costa Rica, Honduras, Ecuador, Dominican Republic and US states such as Alabama. Ccilu shoes have also been directed to areas like Houston, hit hard by hurricanes this past year. We will be posting updates, photos and stories from this program throughout the year. In the meantime, have a look at this behind-the-scenes mini-doc about the unique relationship between Ccilu and Soles4Souls:


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