Vern Walther, owner of Foot Solutions in Mequon Wisconsin, runs a one-man show. We watched him serve customers, handle marketing details and straighten up the stockroom…all by himself. Even though he was busy, each customer got a smile and personalized attention. Several people brought in bags overflowing with shoes to donate to Soles4Souls. It also resulted in more customers, so Vern was busier than usual, which is a good thing!
Archive for June 29th, 2009
Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, but today was anything but restful. It was fun, productive and exciting. We met Pastor Scott and his wife Jacquelin when they invited us to their church, Racine Assembly of God. Little did we know what an eventful day would evolve. We immediately felt comfortable as we walked into their church. Within five minutes, Pastor Scott introduced us to the entire church and invited us back to speak at the evening service. It was especially touching when two members thanked Soles4Souls for donating shoes to Royal Family Kids camp. The service touched Allan and I in a way that hasn’t happened in over 20 years. The choir, videos, sermon and recognition of our veterans was heartfelt and had me so proud to be an American. (Even though I was naturalized as a citizen when I was 11.) We announced a “spontaneous shoe drive” where we asked people to go home, clean their closets and bring shoes to the evening service. After church we enjoyed lunch with the pastor and his three delightful and musically talented children. They gave us a tour along Lake Michigan and Racine. The evening brought a big surprise as the church members brought over 300 pairs of shoes! If that wasn’t enough, the church took a love offering to donate to Soles4Souls. We offered our thanks by giving tours of the RV. Thank you Racine Assembly of God for your hospitality and generosity!
It started out like any stop at a campground with the Soles4Souls RV. We registered with Bridgett at the Caladonia Jellystone RV Park and drove to site #23. By the time we got out of the car, a small crowd had gathered and began asking questions about Soles4Souls. Suddenly kids were running back to their RV’s and bringing back shoes. One kind man offered to go to each RV site and ask people to donate shoes. A few other adults also gave us shoes. Jellystone Park campers are amazing! If you’ve never been to a Yogi Bear Campground, give them a try. Here are just a few of the activities available this weekend: swimming, mini-golf, crafts, pancake breakfast, “hey” rides, games, snack served on a Frisbee, movies, candy bar BINGO and a special hunt to find the picnic basket Yogi stole. There are over 70 Jellystone Campgrounds across the US and Canada, so check them out. www.campjellystone.com Have to stop writing this blog. It’s time to join campers reading a story to Yogi and then tucking him in goodnight in his cave!
Last year there were a few days where I complained about my boring life. That’s changed! In the last month, I’ve been to Zurich, Florence, Rome, Venice, Seattle, Nashville, Chicago and Racine Wisconsin. This is the life I love! Yesterday was spent in downtown Chicago, working with Puma on a joint venture with Soles4Souls. Allan and I spread the word (in our new Puma T-shirts and shoes!) that Puma was giving 30% off any new shoes if customers donated a pair of gently used shoes. It was surprising how many people actually took off their shoes on the spot and donated them in order to get the 30% discount. The Puma staff were wonderful at keeping up the steady flow of customers streaming into the store. We ended up with several boxes of gently used shoes that will soon be on the feet of people who need them. If you are in the Chicago area, bring by a pair of shoes by July 12 and get your 30% discount. Then you too can have cute Puma shoes like mine!