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Sleep Country USA Kicks Off New Shoe Giving Campaign To Benefit Foster Kids

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Sleep Country USA, the Northwest's largest seller of premium mattresses, today announced the 'kickoff' of its yearlong Sleep Country Foster Kids giving initiative with a brand-new shoe drive to benefit area foster children. The Sleep Country Foster Kids' Shoe Drive begins a series of seven collection campaigns that provide foster kids in the Pacific Northwest with new coats, shoes, clothing, school supplies, games, sports equipment and holiday gifts. On Jan. 9, 2006, Sleep Country USA began welcoming donations of new shoes for foster boys and girls, with the goal of collecting 1,000 pairs of new shoes. The Sleep Country Foster Kids' Shoe Drive will help replace shoes that have been outgrown or worn out. "Every foster parent that comes to Treehouse asks if we have any new shoes for their kids," said Janis Avery, executive director, Treehouse. "The answer is that it's rare for us to have new shoes. Shoes are one of the most expensive items that parents need to purchase for children. Because of this, shoes are one of the things that might get bought used or not at all for many foster kids. We are excited that Sleep Country USA has expanded its program to include a drive for collecting new shoes, and look forward to the day this spring when we can say, 'YES! We have new shoes in that area.'" In 2005, Sleep Country USA's Foster Kids campaigns successfully procured more than 25,000 items for Pacific Northwest foster children. These included new backpacks full of school supplies, coats, bikes, baseball gloves, and clothing. "Unfortunately, at times, children are removed from homes where the conditions are so bad that they may not even have a pair of shoes to take with them," said Nancy Underwood Long, Washington state community resource coordinator, Families for Kids. "Foster children, particularly between the ages of 10 through 18, are in dire need of new tennis shoes. This is the time in a kid's life when they are really active and growing so quickly that parents often can't afford to regularly replace their shoes." New shoes of any size can be brought to any one of the more than 50 Sleep Country USA stores until Feb. 19, 2006, when the Sleep Country Foster Kids' Shoe Drive officially ends. "Everyone in the community can help a foster child," said Terry Horsley, executive vice president of marketing and merchandising, Sleep Country USA. "Sleep Country USA understands that keeping a kid in shoes is never easy. Whether they outgrow them or wear them out, we believe that every child deserves a comfortable pair of new shoes and we are committed to working with area foster care organizations to help make this a reality." About Sleep Country USA: Sleep Country USA is the No. 1 mattress seller in the Northwestern United States, with more than 50 retail stores throughout Washington and Oregon. The company was founded in 1990 and features top-quality brand-name mattresses and premium adjustable beds, futons, and wood and metal accent beds. An industry visionary, Sleep Country USA strives to help every customer "choose well to live well." The company is active in its communities, hosting ongoing events that benefit the areas more than 23,000 foster children. For more information about Sleep Country USA or Sleep Country Foster Kids, please visit www.sleepcountry.com.

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