Monday, September 30, 2013

Soles 4 Souls

Children are the ultimate voices of reason sometimes.  My oldest two daughters have been that for me over the last ten years. They have a giving nature which we have tried to nurture. I recently had a bad experience in business in helping others and over extending myself to a fault.  I did not help these people because I wanted a thank you, I helped them because I wanted to see them improve and thrive.  What I learned from this experience is that you really can't help people that could help themselves but choose not to.

But who are the people that need help? That is a great question.  Domestically and around the world there are people who truly are less fortunate.  Life was not a series of just bad decisions that got them to the point where they are looking for a handout.  These people have been either born into such economic inequality or have been a victim of a tragedy that I could never imagine.  Right in your back yard you can find such individuals that need help.  They are not standing with their hand out, they are too busy trying to make the best of what they have. 

My oldest daughter overheard me say that I want to be able to help make a change in the world, that I want to make a difference but wasn't sure how.  My daughter then said, "Can't you do something to help people's feet, maybe donate shoes or something?" Pretty wise for a 9 year old.  I immediately remember seeing an organization online 3 years ago that was responsible for collecting shoes for people all over the world. People domestically and abroad that have seen natural disasters that I hope to never see.  People who are born into the poorest of economic conditions.  These are the people I want to help.  There is a Tracy Chapman song and a line says something like, "Those whose soul misfortune is having mountains of nothing at birth".

Don't get me wrong, I'm just a tough girl from Jersey, from parents that tried their best, but we did not have a lot of money.  I wore hand me down everything and even have a picture on Santa's lap wearing a skate board shirt from a brother and an old pair of shoes that were definitely not on their first tour on a McGowan pair of feet:) But they were shoes, they protected my feet.  They helped me walk to school everyday to get my education.  And over the years I wore many old pairs of shoes passed down from siblings.  I didn't complain I was happy to have anything. 

I want to bring smiles to those who are just happy somebody cared enough to put shoes on their feet that brings a smile to their face.  We are now going to participate in a "Soles 4 Souls" shoe drive.  This is an amazing organization that takes gently used shoes and new shoe donations from organizations all of the US and distributes to the areas most in need. 

Founded in 2004, Soles4Souls is a global not-for-profit institution dedicated to fighting the devastating impact and perpetuation of poverty through the distribution of shoes and clothing.

Soles4Souls receives millions of articles of used shoes and clothing that have been collected by individuals, schools, faith-based institutions, civic organizations and corporate partners.  After sorting items in its national warehouse system, Soles4Souls typically sells the used shoes and clothing, as well as some new items allocated by manufacturers, to carefully selected micro-enterprise organizations. These both private and non-profit companies are contracted to provide shipping, financing, inventory, training and other support to ultra-small businesses in countries like Haiti where there are virtually no jobs to generate personal income.

Through the collection and sale of used (and new) clothing and shoes, Soles4Souls helps create self-sustaining jobs that generate desperately needed revenues throughout those communities. The sale of footwear and apparel to support micro-jobs also provides the majority of funding to sustain Soles4Souls operations and further expand its donations of new shoes and clothing.

I am pleased to have the Center for Ankle and Foot Care(my own little micro-enterprise) help build businesses and contribute to stopping a perpetual cycle of poverty.  We will have drop off locations in all three of our offices for gently used and new shoes. The shoe drive will begin November 1st, 2013 and will continue until December 31st, 2013. Click on either one of these happy kids, just happy to have shoes on their feet to learn more:)
Help our office, that takes such great pride in helping people's feet each day, fight poverty one pair of shoes at a time.  It is easy and you don't have to spend a dime.  Dr. Henne and myself, Dr. McGowan, will take care of the shipping of the shoes.  You just need to go through your closet and your kids closet and come to our office to drop off your shoes.  Thank you in advance for any help you can give.  Share this information with friends and family.   Again please click here to see our drop off locations and times!

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