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Women bankers fight poverty across Maryland

Council of Professional Women in Banking and Finance collecting used shoes

4/7/2014, 6 a.m.
In partnership with Soles4Souls, Inc., the Maryland Bankers Association’s (MBA) Council of Professional Women in Banking and Finance is collecting ...

In partnership with Soles4Souls, Inc., the Maryland Bankers Association’s (MBA) Council of Professional Women in Banking and Finance is collecting used shoes to help fight poverty. As the Council’s official 2014 Philanthropy Initiative, the Used Shoe Drive runs until May 1, 2014 at participating bank branches and organizations across Maryland.

The Council of Professional Women in Banking and Finance Philanthropy mission is giving back to the Maryland community through leadership and inspiration. The goal of the initiative is to have bank branches throughout the state of Maryland participate in the 2014 Used Shoe Drive to collect 25,000 pairs of used shoes. In the first six weeks of the drive, 308 participating bank branches and organizations have pledged a total of 17,470 pairs of used shoes; two-thirds of the way to reaching the Council’s goal.

“The passion and commitment that bankers demonstrate throughout the year have been harnessed in this exciting new partnership with Soles4Souls,” said President and CEO of the Maryland Bankers Association, Kathleen Murphy. “The MBA is proud of our members across Maryland who are using their enthusiasm and creativity to achieve exceptional results.”

Soles4Souls is an international anti-poverty organization that monetizes used shoes and clothing to create sustainable jobs and fund direct relief efforts, including the distribution of new shoes and clothing. The used shoes collected from this drive will be sent to the Soles4Souls processing center, where they will convert every pair of shoes collected into a value-added social currency to achieve positive change, both humanitarian and economic. Most of the reusable shoes will be sent to micro-enterprise programs that create jobs in developing nations such as Haiti. The resulting revenue from the 25,000 pairs of collected shoes will help fund 500 new pairs of Sketcher clog shoes, which will be given to MBA’s Council of Professional Women in Banking and Finance to donate to a Maryland-based nonprofit organization, and distributed at a special event this summer.

“At Community Bank of the Chesapeake, one of our core values is to be community-focused and give back where we live and work,” said Chairman and CEO of Community Bank of the Chesapeake, Michael Middleton. “Partnering with Maryland Bankers Association’s Council of Professional Women in Banking and Finance to support this initiative is a natural extension of our Culture of Excellence.”

Former MBA chairman, Middleton was instrumental in the creation of the Council of Professional Women in Banking and Finance, which launched in May 2013.

“Community banking is all about helping others; that’s what drives our associates on a daily basis,” said President and CFO of First United Bank & Trust and 2014 Chair of the Advisory Board of the Council of Professional Women in Banking and Finance, Carissa Rodeheaver. “Our banks are putting their heart and ‘sole’ into this effort and I couldn’t be prouder of them making a difference in our communities.”

To join the effort, visit the Soles4Souls website at www.GiveShoes.org to find the nearest donation location. Visit www.mdbankers.com to follow the progress of the Maryland banking industry reaching their goal of collecting 25,000 pairs of used shoes.