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April 1, 2007
Hearts to Soles Foster Children Charity

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, followed by May which is National Foster Care Month. The Alabama Foster and Adoptive Parents Association and the Alabama Secretary of State’s office are partnering together in a statewide shoe collection campaign called "Hearts to Soles" to collect 6,000 pairs of shoes – one pair for each foster child in Alabama. If you want to do your part to help Alabama’s abused and neglected children here is your chance to walk your talk or rather talk your walk– literally!

The campaign is designed to collect 6,000 pairs of shoes by April 20, 2007. "I am convinced that together, we can help them collect even more!" stated Secretary of State Beth Chapman. "If you or your children have shoes (new or used) that you are no longer wearing, now is the chance to donate them to foster children across our state."

The Secretary of State is taking this campaign personally, "While my family and I were cleaning out our closets last weekend with this particular campaign in mind, I am embarrassed to report that we found twelve pairs of shoes we can no longer wear. Since I have two teenage sons, I found a couple of pairs that had only been worn a few times before they outgrew them. They were like new."

"It is not that we have so many shoes; we just never do anything with them once they are outgrown. We give plenty of clothes to local shelters, but for some strange reason we tend to forget the shoes. It occurred to me that there are others who have probably done the same thing and would welcome the opportunity to help foster children in this simple, but substantial way. It is a great way not only to help foster children, but to clean out your closets as well – all for a worthwhile cause."

The Alabama Foster and Adoptive Parents Association and the Alabama Secretary of State want you to take this campaign personally too, by asking your business associates, neighbors, fellow church members and family to donate their shoes – new or used. "Together, we can walk what we talk and help others to do the same. Collecting 6,000 pairs of shoes will be a great "feat", but together we can do it," confirmed Mrs. Chapman.

Donations can be dropped off at the Secretary of State’s Office in the State Capitol Rm. S-105, or you can visit to find the drop-off site nearest you. If there is not one in your area, please create one and let us know so we can add it to the list. We would love the opportunity to add additional sites. Please help us put foster children one step ahead of the rest by donating new or used shoes this month. Remember, the deadline for shoe collections is April 20th.

The "Hearts to Soles" campaign will conclude with a rally on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol on May 1st at 9:00 a.m. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

There are 6,000 foster children in Alabama so kick off your shoes today and help Alabama’s foster children in this unique way.

For more information, visit Secretary of State John H. Merrill’s Web Site: