From our friends at Excel Sports…
NBA Star Charlie Villanueva and SolesUnitedSM to Donate 10,000 pairs of Crocs™ Shoes to Impoverished Children in the Dominican Republic
NIWOT, COLO., August 26, 2008 – Today Crocs, Inc. announced the first-of-its-kind recycled footwear donation program, SolesUnitedSM, will be teaming with Dominican-American NBA Star Charlie Villanueva of the Milwaukee Bucks to bring 10,000 pairs of Crocs™ shoes to the children in impoverished regions of the Dominican Republic. This marks the second SolesUnitedSM donation in the Dominican Republic and commences the first major effort of the newly formed Tenis Para Niños (which translates to “Sneakers for Kids”) program developed by The Charlie Villanueva Foundation.
Tenis Para Niños, launching August 29-31, 2008 with the delivery of SolesUnitedSM shoes, will reach hundreds of Dominican children particularly in schools and orphanages in Puerto Plata, Cabrera, and Santiago. Charlie, along with SolesUnitedSM, Feed the Children, UNICEF, and Elliott Foundation will be on hand for the donation.
“I have witnessed first hand the wide spread desolate conditions in the Dominican Republic. Few Americans realize many Dominican people have never owned shoes before, so the simple act of providing them with quality Crocs™ footwear is invaluable,” said Villanueva. “It is my hope that this benevolent partnership with SolesUnited will only continue to grow with the support of my fellow NBA players moving forward.”
With more than 42% of the Dominican population living below the poverty line, and worldwide more than 1 billion people living on less than $1 per day, the need for basic necessities is a harsh reality. Through the Charlie Villanueva Foundation, in association with SolesUnitedSM and partners such as Feed The Children, UNICEF and SEDEFIR, Charlie is determined to make a positive difference and contribute to better health conditions & quality of life. Additionally, during the launch of Tenis Para Niños the Charlie Villanueva Foundation will host a free 1-day youth basketball camp together with the support of Felipe Jay Payano, the Dominican Republic Secretary of Sports (SEDEFIR), and the founders of the NYC street basketball team Dominican Power.
About The Charlie Villanueva Foundation
The Charlie Villanueva Foundation is a non-profit organization, established in the United States and Canada, dedicated to eliminating bullying by supporting organizations, and to conceive positive actions against bullying through programs that provide non-violent guidance. The CVF focuses in creating outlets of self-expression and growth through education, literacy, health, recreational activities and sports with an emphasis on youth. The CVF has also partnered with the National Alopecia Areata Foundation to develop charitable activities and enforce a range of supportive programs to benefit children and their families affected by alopecia areata.
In addition, the CVF has expressed urgent international attention to fight poverty through supportive educational programs, social welfare and health services for indigent children and their families in the Dominican Republic in strive for better community development. The CVF is committed to expanding their outreach to impact individuals in the United States and aboard.
The SolesUnitedSM program is a first-of-its-kind recycled footwear donation program. Focused on donating quality footwear to those in need throughout the world, SolesUnitedSM represents the commitment set forth by Crocs Inc., to social responsibility through humanitarian efforts.