Important Updates to Soles4Souls’ Travel Program
Your safety, as well as the safety of the people we serve, is our top priority. It is with this in mind that we have made the decision to cancel or postpone all Global Experiences until at least April 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on global travel, and whenever travel does pick up again, it is likely to look very different than it has in the past. This is particularly difficult because we know travel has been an important way for many to engage with the Soles4Souls mission, but this pause has forced us to step back and take a fresh look at how we can best structure our travel program for the future. This has led us to make several changes:
– Once we start traveling again, we will only be traveling to those countries where we have an established micro-enterprise program. Currently, that includes Haiti, Honduras, and Guatemala—and we will also schedule US-based trips. However, we may expand that list as we develop stronger micro-enterprise operations in Africa and other regions. We reached this decision because we feel it’s important to give travelers direct exposure to the work that is at the core of our mission.
– We plan to schedule 12-15 trips per year beginning in 2021. People and companies who have earned free trips through their shoe collection efforts will be given first priority for registration. We will then open any remaining spots to those who want to pay or raise funds for their trip. (Please note this is subject to change.)
We realize these changes may impact your plans in a significant way. If you have additional questions, please check our FAQ section below, where we’ll be providing continuous updates.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate these changes. Traveling with Soles4Souls has been life-changing for hundreds of people, and we look forward to many more Global Experiences in the years to come.
Based on availability, you may be able to join one of our pre-set scheduled trips but in efforts to give priority to earned trips, there will be a waiting period before registration is available.
If you’d like a refund, please send a request in writing to Britta Burtis email@example.com by September 1, 2020. We will refund what you’ve paid towards your S4S cost within 60 days or so of receiving your written request.* Any fundraised money will be refunded back to the original donor, not to the traveler, per our standard policy.
*If you’ve booked your airfare, we encourage you to work with airlines to start the cancellation/refund process. At this time, airlines are being gracious to accommodate such requests. If we’ve booked your airfare, your travel leader will be in touch to discuss.
You can view our upcoming trips here.
They will be 5-days in length on average to Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras and the United States. They will continue to include direct service and cultural immersion, with an emphasis on our micro-enterprise programs in these countries. We will still have S4S travel leaders that communicate, prepare and travel with you.
We will no longer offer customizable private group trips.
Volunteers are able to earn trips with S4S when they collect 25,000 or more pairs of shoes and/or participate in one of our large fundraising or procurement initiatives. For more information about these programs, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone else is considered a “paid traveler.”
Please check back regularly on our Trips page for updates.
For trips that are earned before April 1, 2021, your new expiration date will be April 2022. This gives you ample time to select a new Global Experience, and one year of options to choose from. Please note: If our international travel continues to be postponed after April 2021, we will revisit this expiration date. Any earned trips thereafter will have one year to travel with S4S from the time they completed their collection efforts and were awarded their trips.
The main difference is that we are no longer offering a tier system of location options; rather, we’re only maintaining the 25,000 level including Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala and the United States as options. We’re excited about this because it gives you a chance to bring your shoe collection efforts full circle by seeing through our micro enterprise program how shoes like the ones you collect benefit families in these countries.
Please talk with your point of contact at that organization/institution/company. They will determine when/how they want to reschedule their S4S trip and work with you on how that affects your participation and next steps.
Yes, though we are emphasizing earned trips in our new model, we still want to honor your commitment to our organization by offering the same discounts which include: A $200 return traveler discount and/or up to (3) $100 referrals for any new travel companions that join you.