Photo by Jodi Arnold; courtesy of Soles4Souls

More than 30,000 people around the world, many of them children, have already received a pair of shoes as the result of the recently released country charity single “The Choice.”  A who’s-who list of 19 major country artists, including Keith Urban, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, Josh Turner, and Vince Gill, collaborated on the song which benefits the nonprofit organization Soles4Souls.

“I always took for granted the significance of owning a pair of shoes, but I never will again,” said Billy Gilman, the multi-platinum-selling country artist who co-wrote the song and spearheaded the effort to bring all of the artists together.

Never before in the history of country music have so many stars united on one single song.  Other artists participating include Rodney Atkins, Kellie Pickler, Craig Morgan, Kenny Rogers, LeAnn Rimes, Steve Holy, Wynonna Judd, Amy Grant, Montgomery Gentry, Diamond Rio, Richie McDonald, Ronnie Milsap, and Randy Travis

“Every single download of the song will put a pair of shoes on someone in need around the world,” said Gilman, who was in Jacksonville, Florida last week to personally help distribute some of the first shoes generated by the song.   “It’s as simple as that—downloading the song in order to put one pair of shoes on a child.”

“The trucks are just now starting to leave the warehouse and we are beginning to see the positive effect that this song is having,” Gilman continued.  “Thousands of people now have much higher self-esteem—they are now less likely to catch a disease, and more likely to land a job.  And we are just getting started.”

All artists donated their time and talents to the project.  The proceeds from each download of the song go to Soles4Souls. Based in Nashville, the nonprofit organization collects new shoes to give relief to the victims of abject suffering and collects used shoes to support micro-business efforts to eradicate poverty.

“The Choice” was released by Cotton Valley Records on April 16 and is available via digital download on iTunes, Amazon, and a host of other sites.  Corporate sponsors include retailer Gander Mountain and Regal Entertainment Group, the largest cinema company in the United States, which has promoted the song on all of its 6,775 screens nationwide.