While in New England, a friend suggested we go to “The Big E” a large fair with events depicting the New England States. We enjoyed lobster rolls, giant baked potatoes and regional exhibits. The highlight of the event was when Allan was asked to step on a ladder with some other men to demonstrate the ladder’s strength. Now he wants one of those fancy shmancy ladders but doesn’t know how to transport it in the RV. Plus he has no use for it! A guy can dream though!
Archive for September, 2009
Unity Churches across the United States are partnering with Soles4Souls in a “Shoes4Unity” program. Members of Unity Churches have the opportunity to purchase shoes for individuals, families, schools and villages. We gave a presentation at Valley of the Foothills, Unity Church. The members were overly-generous and purchased many shoe sponsorships. It’s exciting to see how people are willing to help give people in need a pair of shoes. We look forward to visiting many other Unity Churches!
Intel employees in Hudson Massachusetts had an employee shoe drive and collected a wide assortment of shoes for Soles4Souls. We were excited that they invited us to their Fun Run at the end of the shoe drive. The Soles4Souls RV turned into the “Party Mobile” by blasting music from the outdoor speaker to add a party atmosphere to the event. All the participants got a Soles4Souls keychain, plus we gave a S4S T-shirt to the male and female winners of the road run. I was especially impressed how the employees signed a giant card for a co-worker too sick to participate in the road run. The atmosphere was so positive and upbeat I think Intel would make a great place to work!
Allan and I had the fun experience of visiting students at the Villa Maria school in Maryland. Students involved in their “Youth Congress” worked hard to plan a successful shoe drive. They made colorful posters, set up collection boxes and even donated some of their own shoes! We were honored to meet these enthusiastic kids. To thank them for their efforts, Allan did a few magic tricks, we made “Shoe Buddies” and everyone took a tour of the Soles4Souls RV. Thanks kids, for helping give kids-in-need, a pair of shoes!
While visiting the Bethesda Comfort One store, we met Dean and Alvin, two of the personable employees. Once again they cheerfully helped customers select the perfect pair of shoes. I was a bit taken back when a customer tried on some shoes and then walked over to me. She pointed to her shoes and asked “What do I do with these?” I suppose the obvious answer to her question would have been “They are shoes. Most people walk in them.” Thinking that might be too flippant, I asked “What would you like to do with them?” She responded with “Wear them with pants”. Problem solved. I think!
While in the Washington DC area, we invited our friends, Joni and Tom over to the RV. Actually, we really wanted to be with their precocious and fun granddaughter Addy. (I guess Tom and Joni come as part of the package.) We did what all campers do at campgrounds…had Dominos deliver a pizza. Afterwards Addy did crafts, along with Tom. Take a good look at the pictures. This man was a high ranking military officer with top security clearance. These days , he’s concentrating on decorating balloons.
This morning at the Comfort One store in Rockville Maryland, Adam and Michael enthusiastically greeted us as part of the Comfort One-Soles4Souls partnership. Adam brought in over 12 pairs of gently-used shoes from his own closet. Later, a customer came to buy a pair of shoes. Nothing unusual about that, except this man gets the award for “Rudest Customer We’ve Met on the Six Month Soles4Souls Tour”. He was rude to both Michael and myself. However, Michael handled himself like a true professional. He smiled and cajoled the belligerent customer until the angry man was half-way civil. We proudly award Michael with the “Outstanding Customer Service” award!
Wow! The Alexandria Comfort One is a happening place! Even early in the morning, staff were working at extra high speed to keep up with all the customers coming through. It was fun watching Todd as he waited on several people, all at the same time. Plus he kept a smile on his face the entire time. We talked to customers, explaining how Soles4Souls is a shoe charity working in partnership with all the Comfort One stores. On a personal note…does it really take over two hours to buy a pair of shoes? Todd and Brian, the store manager, kept their cheerful disposition with “slow” customers. If I worked in a shoe store I’d set a timer for 15 minutes. If you don’t buy the shoes by the, leave! OK, I know that’s not the greatest in customer service, but really folks, two hours to pick out a pair of shoes!!!???
We’ve been busy the last few days meeting customers at the Comfort One Stores in the Washington DC area. Comfort One is collecting gently used shoes at all their stores and donating them to Soles4Souls. Comfort One Shoes and Soles4Souls are announcing an ambitious plan to collect 100,000 pairs of shoes and donate $100,000 in funds to provide free shoes for people in need, beginning September 1, 2009.
Comfort One Shoes expects to do this by involving the community with a series of events in the Washington D.C. area. All 20 Comfort One Shoes locations are Soles4Souls donation centers for cash donations as well as shoe drop off centers. The stores are located throughout Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland.
The footwear retailer collected about 50,000 pairs of shoes this year and plans to double that amount in the next twelve months. We parked the RV very close to the White House, so maybe President Obama w
ill drop by and donate his shoes.
We all know the original Hippies are now Baby Boomers…many suffering from impaired thinking. That was the case when Allan and I went to see the Woodstock Museum in Woodstock New York. Wouldn’t it make sense that the Woodstock festival was also in Woodstock NY and that the Woodstock Museum would have information on the festival? Alas, no. After arriving at the Woodstock Museum (which is actually a man’s house and a small storage building where he shows a movie) we learned the famous Rock and Roll festival was actually held two hours west in Bethel Hills. That’s also where a new multi-million dollar museum depicting the Woodstock Festival was located. We decided it wasn’t worth the gas or effort to drive that far, so these two over-the-hill hippies walked through the quaint town of Woodstock and ate ice cream. That’s what happens when you get old!