Shood is new name for locally-based Soles2Share

A nonprofit that collects, reconditions and distributes new and gently used athletic shoes locally to those who are homeless or live in poverty has a new name. Soles2Share is now Shood (pronounced “shoed”) in a pro bono rebrand by the integrated marketing firm Elevation that includes a bold red logo of a shoelace outlining two sneakers, a new tagline Shoes for good, and a postcard to be handed out at the upcoming Anthem Richmond Marathon on November 10 about Shood’s mission.

“We wanted to stand out,” said Robin Telfian, who founded the organization last year after being approached by a soup kitchen guest, David Hewlett, who asked, “What happens to runners’ shoes after a big race?”. The two teamed up with retailer Jeff Wells, owner of Fleet Feet, in collecting athletic shoes and distributing them to homeless organizations and other community outreach programs. In 2017, they distributed 610 pairs; this year they’ve already given away 950. This week, athletic shoe donations will be accepted by Fleet Feet at the marathon’s Health and Fitness Expo on November 8 and 9.

With growth came the need for a strategic marketing plan and materials, along with a new moniker. With the help of Good Run Research & Recreation; Elevation; trademark attorney John Farmer of Leading-Edge Law Group PLC; and corporate attorney Tricia Dunlap of Dunlap Law PLC, the nonprofit’s Board chose Shood as its new name.

 “I loved it immediately,” said Telfian.

Shood believes one way to lend a hand to those in need is at their feet. “On average, people who are homeless walk 10-15 miles per day,” Telfian noted, adding that one in four Richmond residents live in poverty, and that 3,000 people in the city are served by homeless agencies and shelters. Donated shoes are collected at Fleet Feet, reconditioned by Shood volunteers and distributed at events called “Shood Shares” at local soup kitchens, churches, outreach programs and community centers. Telfian described the word-of- mouth Shood Shares as “high energy and positive events,” adding that Wells professionally sizes each attendee before they “shop” among the shoes available, so that every pair selected is comfortable and a good fit.

“We know that a new pair of shoes, on its own, will not end homelessness,” says Telfian realistically. “But well-fitting, high quality shoes can make an immediate impact on health and wellness, while helping these individuals in need step forward with dignity.”

Robin Telfian