We met the pastor of Disciples Christian Church of Nevada, Missouri in a Walmart parking lot. His new church has only 30 members, yet they collected over 400 pairs of shoes ! We were glad to help them out by coordinating with Walmart to get the church’s shoes sent to the Soles4Souls warehouse.
Archive for July, 2009
We spent the last three days collecting gently used shoes from Walmart employees and the Bentonville community. I think Mike Rush, owner of Rush Running, threatened the members of his running group with extra-hard workouts if they didn’t donate shoes. They brought us an amazing number of shoes! What a great way to help our shoe charity and also recycle shoes.
I chatted with one woman who brought by two pairs of shoes. “I was one of those kids” she said, pointing to the three oversized pictures of children on the Soles4Souls RV. “I grew up in Appalachia and didn’t have shoes. One day someone from an agency took me into town and gave me a new pair of shoes. I’ve never forgotten that and now want to pass it on.” She returned the next day with even more shoes to donate.
By Thursday afternoon, it took a car and two trucks to haul away the shoes to be sent to the Soles4Souls warehouse. What a great way to recycle shoes! Afterwards we headed out for a 3 1/2 hour drive to Little Rock. We arrived at an amazing campground run by the Corps of Engineers, just in time to see a blazing sunset over the river.
Opps! We had two Soles4Souls teardrop flags near the road as we collected shoes in a three day collection drive with Walmart employees. Evidently we didn’t apply for a signage permit because we got a “warning” to remove the flags immediately. We did.
Yesterday, as we had the Soles4Souls RV set up at Rush Running in Bentonville, Arkansas, a father and his two young sons came by with several bags of shoes. We chatted as the dad set down the bags. Suddenly the pre-schooler saw a pair of his shoes in the bag and quickly pulled them out. Obviously he was attached to those shoes because he rubbed them against his check and said, “I’m keeping these”. No amount of persuasion from Dad could convince him to donate the shoes, so he left with them. Allan told the dad to just see this as a tecahable moment. Sure enough, this morning, Patrick came back with his beloved shoes and dropped them in the donation box. Now that is whole-hearted giving!
OK, I may not be an expert on the Universal Sign Code, but when I saw this sign in Independence Missouri, I assumed it meant to be alert for visually impaired people. What do you think it means?
Allan informed me it was simply the sign telling us we were close to Harry Truman’s Presidential Library.
We were thrilled that our route from Cedar Rapids to Kansas City took us directly by Indianola, home to many of Allan’s relatives. We had a great time visiting with everyone and letting Sammy Sole, official Soles4Souls mascot, enjoy the fair.
It’s evident that Allan and I are involved with Soles4Souls. Our 19 year old daughter Sondra is also a spokesperson for them and has collected thousands of shoes. While we were in Cedar Rapids at the Finish Line Store, our daughter Trina came by. We put her to work banding all the donated shoes. Now we can say that Soles4Souls is truely a family affair.
Finish Line customers were very generous in recycling their shoes by donating them to Soles4Souls. Travis, the manger at the Lindale Mall, had several boxes overflowing with gently used shoes. His enthusiasm was contageous, which was evident by the response from customers.
Wow! That’s about all I can say about the shoe collection drive with Foot Solutions in Kansas City, Missouri. Caroline Martinie was the “mastermind” behind this successful event. She spearheaded a friendly competition between the merchants to see which business could bring in the most shoes by 4:00pm today. The lively competition was fun as stores called customers, encouraging them to bring shoes to the store. One business ( who shall go un-named) bought new shoes to make sure they had a better chance of winning. After all, the prize was an evening Shoes and Champagne at the Foot Solutions store. By the time we left, over 1,000 pairs of shoes were stacked in the back room.Caroline has set the standards for anyone organizing a shoe drive.
Congratulations to Eclektica Salon for being the Grand Champion, Super-Duper Shoe Collectors with 292 pairs!
Sammy Sole, the official Soles4Souls macot, enjoyed his visit to the Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota. Did you know there are 14 types of Spam? 100 million cans are sold in the US each year. There used to be six “Spam-Mobiles”, traveling the US, to festivals and special events. Hormel sold those RV’s so maybe the Soles4Souls RV will take up the slack and start serving fried Spam sandwiches.
- Sammy visited his flip flop cousins at the Spam museum.Sammy Sole and “Spammy” the Spam mascot.
Due to popular demand, here are some recent pictures when Sammy Sole went to the Minnesota Zoo.