AGRM Conference 2015

Events, Inspiration, Rescue Missions

AGRM Conference 2015

No Comments 31 May 2015

agrm_logo_cmyk-largeGive Your Sole was honored to be a part of this years Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM) annual conference taking place in Bellevue Washington May 27th-30th. AGRM has been on the sidewalks and in the face of what to many has been a faceless problem. AGRM-member facilities have a reputation for being havens of hope for all who enter.

Every year, 300 missions serve nearly 50 million meals, provide more than 20 million nights of lodging, bandage the emotional wounds of thousands of abuse victims, and graduate 18,000- plus individuals from addiction recovery programs.

Our partnership with AGRM is extremely valuable to our process of helping those in need. AGRM has a member organization with facilities and programs in most of the cities where the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series take place. Some of this
weeks highlights included:

  • Met with many interested rescue missions in cities where the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series takes place: LA, AZ, Philly, Nashville, Portland, San Diego, Denver, Dallas, and Virginia Beach
  • Were able to have a pair of Brooks shoes as the centerpiece for every table in the conference
  • Were able to share with all the attendees the importance of GYS’s relationship with Rock ‘n’ Roll and how it contributes to our success and coming to their city
  • With the help of our Washington state partner, Redeeming Soles, we were able to share the story of Brooks donating 3000 pairs and from Costco 1000 pairs to Washington homeless
  • Talked with churches who were in the line of Rock ‘n’ Roll routes to create a plan ahead of the race to reach out to their congregations to get involved in shoe drives and creating GYS running teams

It was an incredible conference showcasing the reach we have and how we can bring value to their rescue missions and communities.

Up next: The Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Expo in Seattle, WA – Thursday, June 11 – Saturday, June 13. We look forward to teaming up with our post event “feet on the street” Redeeming Soles at the Expo and Race.  Following on the heels of the AGRM conference we anticipate a record number of donations at this event!

centerpiece AGRM
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Re-Launching Give Your Sole

Events, Inspiration, Seattle

Re-Launching Give Your Sole

No Comments 09 May 2015

GYS logo final RnR_MarathonSeriesLogo_Horiz2

Dear Friends of Give Your Sole –

I have really missed you all. Thanks to all of you, we were able to accomplish so much in the first four years of the GYS launch.

In the last two years a lot has happened to cause my hiatus from GYS. A couple of full time jobs, families to care for and support, and moving from California to Washington put GYS on the backburner.

Today, I am happy to announce that we are going to take another run at it in a big way! We are blessed to continue our great relationship with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®. This has the potential of eventually putting us in 26 cities across the country throughout the year starting with Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle in June!

We have also advanced our conversations with the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM). Our aim is for AGRM to be the primary beneficiary of the shoes we collect at each Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series race. This ensures the people who need them most get a pair….or two.

There are several other exciting opportunities on the horizon which I will share when I am able. This gives us hope and confidence that the dream you helped birth can and will become a reality.

Our love for helping those in need has remained deep in our hearts. Together, we can help those less fortunate across the United States.

Let’s run these streets and change lives together!

All things good,

Brett

Founder of Give Your Sole

Allstate Life Insurance Chicago 13.1 Marathon Shoe collection

Chicago, Chicago, Events, Rescue Missions, video

Allstate Life Insurance Chicago 13.1 Marathon Shoe collection

No Comments 07 August 2012

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Our first event with Allstate Life Insurance was a huge success. Together with Allstate Life Insurance and Shea McClellin of the Chicago Bears we collected 400 pairs of shoes for Breakthrough Urban Ministries in Chicago! Next stop Boston!

Events

Allstate Life Insurance Partners with GYS

No Comments 05 June 2012

It’s been awhile since my last post and even longer since our last event. Six months to be exact. Having a full time job that requires a lot of my time had me focusing on work the past six months. While having my head down working and daydreaming about my next Give Your Sole event an incredible opportunity presented itself.  The great people of US Road Sports  recommended Give Your Sole to Allstate Life Insurance as a potential partner.  After some great conversations with the Allstate Life Insurance representatives a great partnership was formed and we could not be more excited and grateful. You can see the press release HERE.

Here is a list of all the races we will be attending in 2012:

June 9thAllstate Life Insurance Chicago 13.1 Marathon

September 16thAllstate Life Insurance Boston 13.1 Marathon

October 7thAllstate Life Insurance Atlanta 13.1 Marathon

October 27thAllstate Life Insurance Dallas 13.1 Marathon

November 11thAllstate Life Insurance Fort Lauderdale 13.1 Marathon

Please check back for more details under our events tab. We look forward to seeing you at the races!






Redeeming Seattle

Events, Rescue Missions, Seattle, Seattle

Redeeming Seattle

No Comments 29 June 2011

Great picture of the Frogboxes donated to collect shoes in.

Seattle continues to be a city filled with incredible people doing incredible things for others. Last year at the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon we had an amazing time and were able to collect shoes for the Rescue Mission in downtown Seattle.  Not only were we able to capture some great video but upon handing out the shoes we collected at the rescue mission I met a certain individual who I now consider a friend.  That friend is Scott Sowle.

Scott lived on the streets for many years battling his addiction to drugs and alcohol until he found his way to the Seattle Union Gospel Mission. It is there that he changed his life and now makes it his life’s goal to help others. Last year as we were handing out the shoes from the race to people on the street, Scott approached me and shared with me that he wanted to start his own shoe collection center for the Puget Sound area. He asked if he could call me and discuss it further. Of course I said he could reach out to me anytime, all the while thinking I might never hear from him again since he lived at the shelter.  I’m excited to share with you that at this years event we teamed up with Scott’s new organization, Redeeming Soles, as the recipient of all the shoes we collected.  Scott has done amazing things since we last met in building Redeeming Soles and is making an incredible difference in Washington. He provides shoes to numerous shelters, abuse centers and kids facilities facing poverty in the Puget Sound area. Scott is known to many on the streets as the “shoe guy” or “Scooter”. To me he is an inspiration. Not only is Scott Redeeming Soles but he is Redeeming Seattle and really making a difference in the lives he touches. I know he did mine.

Thank you Scott.

From left to Right: Jeff Hill from Frogbox who donated the collection bins, Jo Anne Drewry from Redeeming Soles and Scott Sowle Founder of Redeeming Soles

Running LA? Then Donate Your Shoes!

Events, Los Angeles

Running LA? Then Donate Your Shoes!

No Comments 16 March 2011

According to the Business Leaders Task Force on Homeless report, “Home For Good”, there are 48,000 homeless on any given night in Los Angeles County.

I guess you could say we have 48,000 reasons to be focused on collecting shoes at this years Honda LA Marathon presented by K-Swiss.  With over 30,000 runners and 100,000 or more visiting the expo we hope to collect an incredible amount of shoes that will be donated to Union Rescue Mission.

Here’s how it breaks down:

San Fernando Valley – 3,618 homeless

West LA – 5.538 homeless

South Bay – 7,863 homeless

South LA – 8,514 homeless

East LA – 4,517 homeless

Central LA – 11,093 homeless

San Gabriel Valley – 3,924 homeless

Antelope Valley – 2,419

The time to donate is NOW. LA needs your shoes! Donate at LA Marathon this weekend! Here’s where.

Los Angeles is one of the greatest cities in the world. Let’s make sure we help take care of those calling it home, even if they don’t have one.

Thank you.

Events, Las Vegas, Rescue Missions, Vegas

Something To Believe In…..

No Comments 17 December 2010

I drive by the homeless sleeping on a cold dark street
Like bodies in an open grave
Underneath the broken old neon sign
That used to read JESUS SAVES

A mile away live the rich folks
And I see how they’re living it up
While the poor they eat from hand to mouth
The rich drinkin’ from a golden cup

And it just makes me wonder
Why so many lose, and so few win

Song: Something To Believe In

Artist: Poison

When this song came out in 1990 I was 2 years out of high school.  Seems like only yesterday.  From the time I was 16 and could drive, my best friend and I would make sack lunches and take them to all the homeless people who congregated around City Hall in Santa Ana, Ca. and spend time talking with them listening to their stories.  My best friend, who I have known since 5th grade and still hang with today, played the guitar ever since I can remember and learned to play this song.  To us it meant something. Still does.

Fast forward to present day. I now operate a public charity that strives to help those in need, only rather than giving away sack lunches we give away shoes.  I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to work with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series and attend a great number of their events where we collect shoes from all the runners and then donate them to a local rescue mission in the city where the race is held.  Two weeks ago we attended the Zappos Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon & 1/2 where the man himself, Bret Michaels, sang this song.  To be standing there hearing this song live while we collected shoes for the homeless was beyond incredible.  Then to top it off I had the opportunity to meet Bret after the show.  While the meeting was brief, due to the line of waiting fans, mostly women of course, it was one I won’t soon forget.  He was extremely nice and very receptive to what we are doing. Hopefully, I’ll be able to take him up on his offer of being the recipient of shoes he gets from a relationship he has with a major footwear company, as well as catching another show down the road.

Thanks Bret for giving me and millions of other fans Something To Believe In!

Rockin with Bret Michaels

…And give me something to believe in
If there’s a Lord above
And give me something to believe in
Oh, Lord arise

Denver, Events

“CROC”odile Rock!

No Comments 01 November 2010

Handing out Crocs to shoe donors

The Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and 1/2 was made special thanks to the great people from Crocs! Normally we hand out Give Your Sole branded foam flip flops to those who donate their race day shoes off their feet but I knew heading into this event we were running low on our supply.  Therefore, I reached out to Crocs in hopes of them providing us with some shoes we could offer in place of the flip flops as well as create some incentive for people to donate on race day.  Crocs graciously donated 100 pairs for us to give to the first 100 people who donated the shoes off their feet.  The great thing about it was many people expressed this was the first pair of Crocs they ever owned!

The Happy 100th donor to receive a pair of Crocs!

We ran out of Crocs pretty quick as you can imagine. Even though we ran out, we gave away what flip flops we did have to those who didn’t make it in time to be one of the lucky 100. Overall for the weekend we collected 425 pairs of shoes, 50 HUGE bags of clothes we collected from the start of the race and 4 pallets of water from the great people at Competitor Group.

Race day is not only filled with incredible memories of receiving shoes from people but it is also the day we give the shoes to those who we collected them for, in this case the Denver Rescue Mission.  The Rescue Mission has a program called the New Life Rehabilitation Program and had 23 men run the race.  After the race, it was many of these same men who ran the race that picked up the shoes and clothes to take back to their fellow men and women in need.

To think that many of these men ran with the very same people who donated their shoes, yet might never meet, is pretty inspiring.  The act of giving is commendable, the act of giving knowing you will never meet the recipient is to be applauded. Congratulations to all who ran, to all who gave and to all who received….for it was many who did all three.

Rescue Runners picking up the days collection

Denver, Events

Crocs Cares (sm)

No Comments 13 October 2010

As we prepare for the Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon & 1/2 this week I found our inventory of Give Your Sole flip flops on the low end.  Many of you know we give away our flip flops to the runners who donate the shoes they run in on race day so they won’t go away without shoes and also to eliminate any hesitation that people might have about donating their race day shoes.  It has really caught on and people seem to be more willing to donate on race day if they have something to wear home.  In my struggles to find a sponsor for the flip flops, I decided to reach out to a contact I made at Crocs a few months back to see if she could help us have something to give the runners for their donation.

Besides the fact my 6 year old loves his Crocs, I was always a fan of the company knowing what they did to give back.  Through their Crocs Cares(sm) program the company has distributed over 2.5 million pairs of shoes to those in need in impoverished areas with their most recent donation of 80,000 pairs to Haiti.  Staying true to their programs name, my contact came through in a big way and showed she cared by donating 100 pairs to Give Your Sole.  The first 100 finishers at the Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon & 1/2 Marathon will be given a free pair of Crocs when they donate the shoes right off their feet after the race on Sunday October 17th.

Knowing we have the support of such a great company, a caring company, a company who knows what it means to want to help people, Give Your Sole can now offer a great pair of shoes to our donors in exchange for their running shoes. Running shoes that will go to help those less fortunate in the Metro Denver area through our partnership with the Denver Rescue Mission.

Thank you Crocs Cares (sm)!

Denver Rescue Mission

Denver, Rescue Missions, video

Denver Rescue Mission

No Comments 10 October 2010

When I heard about the Competitor Group bringing their Rock ‘n’ Roll race series to Denver for the Inaugural Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and 1/2 Marathon I was excited….for many reasons.  To start with, my Father-in-Law lives in Denver and my Sister-in-Law and her husband live in Boulder, instant volunteers!  More than that though, I had heard great things about the Denver Rescue Mission and was now going to have the opportunity to work with them.

The Denver Rescue Mission meets people at their physical and spiritual points of need with the goal of returning them to society as productive, self-sufficient citizens.  The Denver Rescue Mission operates five facilities throughout Metro Denver and Northern Colorado. Their goal has been the same for the past 118 years – to serve the needs of the poor and homeless through emergency services, rehabilitation, transitional and permanent housing, and community outreach.  Last year, the Denver Rescue Mission served 659,854 meals, provided 171,480 nights of shelter, provided 185 tons of clothing, and placed 253 families into permanent housing. The team from the mission shared some alarming facts with me:

On any given night, there are 11,061 homeless men, women and children in Metro Denver.  Of the over 11,061 homeless people in the Denver metro area, approximately:

• 46.5% are people in households with children

• 26.8% are children and teens

• 13.0% are veterans

• 44.5% are experiencing their first episode of homelessness

• 4.5%  are chronically homeless

When survey respondents were asked to indicate “all that apply” regarding reasons for their homelessness, the following were the top 10 reasons listed:

- Lost job 34.7%

- High housing costs (rent or mortgage) 31.2%

- Alcohol or substance abuse 29.5%

- Relationship or family breakup 19.1%

- Mental Illness 16.2%

- Eviction/Foreclosure 12.6%

- Illness 10.5%

- Domestic violence 9.9%

- Discharged from jail 8.0%

- Legal 8%

As I sit in the comforts of  my own home and type this post my heart breaks from a couple of these numbers really standing out.  The fact that roughly 47% are households with children and that 45% are experiencing their first episode of homeless is tragic. Obviously lack of finances or the loss of employment have played a large role in why many have found themselves in this situation.  This is all more the reason we need to collect as many pairs of shoes as possible.  By doing so we can lessen the burden of the mother whose children need shoes because their feet are growing so fast the shoes they have don’t fit. We can ease the pain of a father who is out of work and has to decide how to spend what money he has on either food or shoes for his family.  We can help those who know that winter is only days away along with the freezing cold.  Shoes for these people can mean survival.

Whether you are running the marathon or not, chances are you have shoes you can donate.  Make it this weekend and come donate them to us here.  Let’s make this inaugural race event one to remember not only because it takes place in one of the most beautiful locations in the country but because Denver came together and gave it their best, they gave it their hearts and they gave their shoes!




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