Now More Than Ever, It's Time to Help Families with Children in Need; Payless Calls on Non-Profit Organizations Nationwide to Participate in a Grass Roots Effort Aimed at Delivering More Than 65,000 Pairs of Shoes
Topeka, Kan., Nov. 11 -- Leading family footwear retailer, Payless ShoeSource, is launching a first-of-its-kind national, grass roots shoe-gifting campaign, the Payless Gives Shoes 4 Kids program, aimed at delivering $1 million of shoes -- more than 65,000 pairs -- to American families of children in need through a partnership network of local non-profit organizations across the nation.
Payless is giving more than 65,000 $15 gift coupons redeemable through Jan. 31, 2009, towards a pair of shoes at any of the nearly 4,000 stores across America (excluding Shopko).
"With the economic challenges in America today, the underprivileged are hurt more than any other group. Now more than ever, it's important to step up and help out," said Matthew E. Rubel, Chairman and CEO of Collective Brands, Inc., which owns Payless ShoeSource. "Footwear is a basic need that many of us take for granted. Yet a significant portion of children across America need shoes.
"A great pair of shoes can lift spirits, bolster self confidence and bring a huge smile to a child's face. We are happy to help families across America with the Payless Gives Shoes 4 Kids program this holiday season."
Payless said that the impetus to the nationwide shoe-gifting program included the significant need for children's shoes across the United States and today's economic crisis. In a tough economy, individual and corporate giving to charitable organizations tends to slow down at a time when they need the support the most. Smaller nonprofit agencies that provide direct support are often, in general, under-supported as well.
Payless took a grass roots approach to ensure direct, diverse and immediate nationwide coverage in delivering the shoe gifts.
"Holidays can be stressful enough, but in today's economy with rising unemployment, high gas and food prices, we want to take one thing off parents' plates and alleviate this basic need for thousands of families this holiday season," Rubel said.
A Call to Non-Profits Nationwide
Non-profit organizations interested in participating can apply at http://www.paylessgives.com by completing a short online application. Selection criteria for non-profit participation includes IRC 501(c)(3) status, as well as direct access to underprivileged children in local communities during December. The application process for non-profit partners of the Payless Gives Shoes 4 Kids program starts today and ends Nov. 21. Selected partners will be notified and the shoe gift coupons will be distributed in various quantities to the partners based on the number of constituents they serve.
Payless will select as many well-suited non-profits as possible to serve as its partners in the significant grass roots shoe-gifting effort. In early December the company expects to announce all of its selected partners with an aim of blanketing the nation in both urban cities with dense populations, as well as rural regions of the United States.
Greater Horizons of Kansas City will serve as the independent third-party to manage the selection process based on Payless' core selection criteria. Greater Horizons, also a non-profit, is focused on helping donors connect with local and national charitable causes nationwide.
"Our mantra is 'when the causes you care about reach far and wide' and that fits very well with this new Payless program," said Brenda Chumley, executive director of Greater Horizons. "We are thrilled to assist in connecting Payless to the non-profit organizations that make most sense given the goals of the program -- to get a free pair of shoes into the hands of underprivileged children across America this holiday season."
Payless ShoeSource, Inc., a unit of Collective Brands, Inc., is the largest specialty family footwear retailer in the Western Hemisphere and is dedicated to democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories and inspiring fun, fashion possibilities for the family at a great value. As of the end of second quarter 2008, the company operated more than 4,500 stores. In addition, customers can buy shoes over the Internet at http://www.payless.com.
About Collective Brands, Inc.:
Collective Brands, Inc. (NYSE: PSS) is a leader in bringing compelling lifestyle, fashion and performance brands for footwear and related accessories to consumers worldwide. The company operates three strategic units covering a powerful brand portfolio, as well as multiple price points and selling channels including retail, wholesale, ecommerce and licensing. Collective Brands, Inc. includes Payless ShoeSource, focused on democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories through its more than 4,500-store retail chain, with its brands American Eagle, Airwalk, Dexter, Champion and designer collections Abaete for Payless, Lela Rose for Payless and alice + olivia for Payless, among others; Stride Rite, focused on lifestyle and athletic branded footwear and high-quality children's footwear sold primarily through wholesaling, with its brands including Stride Rite, Keds, Sperry Top-Sider, Robeez, and Saucony, among others; and Collective Licensing International, the brand development, management and global licensing unit,
with such youth lifestyle brands as Airwalk, Vision Street Wear, Sims, Lamar and LTD, World Snowboarding Championships, Sugarboards, Carve, genetic, Dukes, Rage, Ultra-Wheels, and Skate Attack brands. Information about, and links for shopping on, each of the Collective Brand's units can be found at http://www.collectivebrands.com.
About Greater Horizons:
Greater Horizons helps donors across the entire Kansas and Missouri region connect with local and national charitable causes and encourages donors, no matter where they live, to reconnect with causes in their hometown.