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In someone else’s shoes

Posted Nov 05 2013 5:54am
wrecked shoe

“His life story would probably make you cry. His shoes and socks would too. Today he was cold and his feet were wet. There was NO BOTTOM on one of his shoes. Thrilled does not quite describe how he felt an hour ago to have this problem fixed for him. Wish you could have seen this 9 year old boy skipping and singing out of the clinic at his school. This is why we do this.”
- From the Shoes 4 the Shoeless Facebook page

Last year I wrote about my volunteer work with a local non-profit called Shoes 4 the Shoeless . I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written about “Shoes” as I like to call it, but I hope you haven’t forgotten about it. I certainly haven’t. Unfortunately, all the school shoe deliveries where we fit kiddos in need with new shoes and socks have been on Tuesday/Thursday this year, and those are the days that Jonah has speech. BUT!!! When Jonah goes to preschool in January, I’ll be back in action with Shoes, and I can’t wait!

In the meantime, I’ve been running my mouth (mostly on Facebook) to make sure people know about Shoes, their mission, and their volunteer opportunities. If you’re not familiar, I’ll break it down for ya REAL quick-like. The mission of Shoes 4 the Shoeless is to provide new, properly fitting gym shoes and socks to local children in need. In our city of Dayton, Ohio, the city where I live, 40.9% of children live in poverty. The need is great, and there are currently a couple of thousand kids on Shoes’ waiting list. These kids are poor through no fault of their own; when we are out volunteering we see kids whose parents struggle and strive and cannot provide for their kids basic needs, and we see kids whose parents or caregivers simply will not provide for their basic needs. Both situations are heartbreaking. These kiddos need to have their basic footwear needs met, they need love, and they need kindness – and that is something we can provide. But we need help! And that is where you come in!

shoes4theshoelesswalk

If you are local, you have the opportunity to get involved in a small yet monumental way, and a FUN way to boot (see what I did there?) I am excited to invite you to the first ever Shoeless Walk for Kids to benefit Shoes 4 the Shoeless. It’s a walk for all ages and it’s indoors at the Dayton Mall on Saturday, November 23rd. Registration at 8, and Santa will lead the walk starting at 9. Registration is FREE if you bring a new pair of gym shoes and socks, or you can pay $15 if you don’t want to bring shoes. (I myself am bringing shoes and a goal of 65 pairs of socks to celebrate my friend Jill’s mom’s 65th birthday !) I will be there with my family, and Emily will be there with her family, and we want to see YOU there with yours! It’s a SHOELESS walk – because we’re going to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. (Ok, not literally, but you guys? The shoes we take off these kids – they might as well not be wearing any.)

jennyvolunteer1

Me with some kiddos who got new shoes on one of my first volunteer assignments

This walk is going to be a GREAT event, and a FUN time for your family. There will be all sorts of activities and entertainment, but most importantly – there will be all kind of opportunities for you to talk to your kids about giving back to their community – and to show them that you mean what you’re saying!

Friends, I’ve been there. I’ve taken off messed-up, ripped-up, too-small, too-big, barely-held-together shoes off of these kids’ feet. Their need is real, their need is great, their relief when those needs are met is palpable. I’ve seen their caring teachers and principals shed tears of joy over seeing their kids taken care of.  This mission changes lives! Please, please, please, join us to walk on the 23rd to put new, properly-fitting shoes and socks on the feet of kids in our community. It’s going to be a great time, and it’s going to make a HUGE difference.

Kindness matters, and this mission matters. Please join us November 23rd for the Shoeless Walk 4 Kids. Register online here and just show up with your new shoes & socks to donate on walk day! I can’t wait to see you there! If you register, let me know so we can plan a Mommin’ It Up meet-up!!!!!

Got questions? Leave them in the comments or email me!

See you on the 23rd!

Can’t make it but want to get involved? Sign up to volunteer to deliver shoes or donate so Shoes 4 the Shoeless can purchase shoes and socks!

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