Stonebridge Acquisition, Inc., Announces “Shoes for Ukraine” Charitable Initiative
TULSA, Okla., August 26, 2014 – Stonebridge Acquisition, Inc., (SAI) today announced “Shoes for Ukraine,” a new charitable initiative with the goal of collecting 5,000 pairs of shoes during the month of September and shipping them to refugees and other displaced people in war-torn Ukraine.
The Shoes for Ukraine initiative currently involves SAI associates in its Stonebridge Consulting and Cloudaction divisions. But CEO James Ivy expects the scope of Shoes for Ukraine to expand.
“Our associates are taking it upon themselves to spread the word, getting family and friends involved, their communities and churches, and even our clients. It just keeps growing as people hear about it,” Ivy said. “And this all started with one of our associates, Aaron Weast.”
Weast, a consultant in the company’s Tulsa offices, has been involved for several years in shipping used shoes to orphans and high-risk youth in Ukraine. Weast started out donating old shoes from his family’s closets. But his efforts – as well as his commitment to the Ukrainian people – have continued to grow. Now he and his family make frequent stops at garage sales and thrift shops to scout for more shoes. Last year he shipped approximately 500 pairs of shoes to Ukraine on his own time and with his own money.
“I normally collect used shoes during the year and ship them every time I get a couple of hundred pairs or so collected,” Weast said. There’s a use for any kind of shoe, he said, “from soccer cleats to dress shoes.”
“But this year is a bit different,” Weast added, referring to the ongoing Ukraine conflict, which is essentially a state of war between Ukrainian nationals and pro-Russian rebels. Since fighting started in March, Ukraine’s infrastructure has taken a big hit. Coal production is way down, and the region’s source for natural gas is Russia.
The coming onset of winter in Ukraine adds a cruel twist to what’s already a major humanitarian disaster. “Warm winter shoes, which are always highly valued, will be sorely needed in late October when winter arrives in Ukraine,” Weast said.
With an understandable new urgency to his efforts, Weast asked Ivy if he could get his fellow Tulsa colleagues involved in his efforts. Ivy decided to take it a step further and enlist the help of all 100+ SAI associates in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Houston and Dallas offices. And with that, the Shoes for Ukraine initiative was born.
The goal is to collect 5,000 pairs of shoes by the end of September and ship them by boat so that they arrive before winter in Ukraine.
“We are getting the word out so that as many people and organizations as possible have the opportunity to join in,” Ivy said. “Whether it’s collecting shoes or contributing funds for shipping – it costs about two dollars per pair to ship the shoes – anyone can be a part of Shoes for Ukraine.”
“This is a big issue to take on,” Weast said. “It will take many small efforts like this one to help everyone who needs help. But every small effort still matters, especially to the people that we will be able to help.”
If you would like to contribute to the Shoes for Ukraine effort, contact Aaron Weast at 918-260-6012 and via email at email@example.com, or Christy Ptak at 918-359-2783 and via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Local office coordinators for Shoes for Ukraine are:
- Tulsa – Rachel Dean (email@example.com; 918-621-2103)
- Oklahoma City – Chris Clark (firstname.lastname@example.org; 918-359-2730)
- Houston – Liz Unsworth (email@example.com; 713-220-8069)
- Dallas – Ed Harris (firstname.lastname@example.org; 972-419-7730)
About Stonebridge Acquisition, Inc.
Stonebridge Acquisition, Inc. (SAI), is a Tulsa-based corporation led and co-founded by CEO James Ivy. SAI operates two separate brands: Cloudaction (www.cloudaction.com), a cloud solutions provider, and Stonebridge Consulting (www.sbti.com), an oil and gas consulting services provider.