Archive for June, 2010

Sondra Takes on Washington DC

June 26, 2010

Three weeks ago Sondra began her internship at the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC. Since that time she has started twittering, gotten involved with a church, and met an amazing number of people. She’s working in one of the executive offices where part of her job is screening calls, booking airplane flights and working with donor relations. We’re so proud of her!

My Two “Sons” Leave Me!

June 25, 2010

Dash's last visit to the RV


For the last few weeks, I’ve “adopted” Dash and Tim as my two sons…whether they like it or not! In fact, I gave them quite a lecture about getting a ride with a drunk guy. But that’s another story!

Today was a sad day because we said goodbye to them in Manning, South Carolina. They were quite the rock stars as teachers, parents and a reporter took pictures of the two happy hikers. We’ll keep in touch by email, but I already miss them!

David Copperfield for the Pre-School Crowd

June 25, 2010

While giving shoes at the Headstart program, Allan did some of his ever-popular magic. He’ll never reveal how Cookie Monster got in his sock!

Headstart Students Get New Shoes

June 24, 2010

This morning we had the fun experience of giving new shoes to the students at the Headstart program in Manning, South Carolina. Tiffany arranged the event and made sure kids and parents got the shoes they needed. Not everyone was happy, as a few toddlers decided the commotion was way beyond their comfort level. They responded in typical toddler fashion by crying and arching their feet as we tried to fit them with new shoes.Lots of hugs and smiles got them calmed down so they could enjoy listening to Tiffany read a story. A story about shoes of course!

I Found the Perfect Family

June 23, 2010

Happy family of seven

OK, I admit yesterday I was a stalker. But in a “research-kind-of-way”. Allan and I spent almost four hours on a tour of Fort Sumpter. While I didn’t learn much about the history of the fort, I did watch the interactions of a family with seven kids. Yes, seven kids between the ages of 15 and 5. What impressed me most was how well they all got along. There was no bickering, complaining or even eye-rolling. Instead, the 13 year old boy kept playing some sort to slap-tag game with his mom, laughing all the time. The girls alternated holding their dad’s hand or leaning against him. Sure it was only four hours that I “stalked” them, but I could just tell that here was a healthy, well adjusted family that genuinely got along. Both parents were relaxed and smiled often. That’s what impressed me most. They made it obvious they enjoyed being with their kids. So for those of us with two or three kids, this family can show us how it’s done!

Isola Helps Soles4Souls

June 22, 2010

One of the advantages of working on the Soles4Suls RV Tour is seeing so much of the country. We recently were invited to Johns Island in South Carolina to visit the Isola store. The visit started out on a positive note for Allan when he saw how large of a parking spot they reserved for him. He simply pulled right next to the store without having to maneuver the huge RV into a VW sized parking spot.
Shirley and the rest of her staff invited customers to come to a wine and cheese event while donating gently used shoes. We won’t mention any names, but one staff person actually donated 31 pairs of her shoes…and said she still has more at home! Isola carries ladies shoes, handbags, and accessories by various designers including Donald Pliner, ColeHaan, Jack Rogers, Andre Assous, Helen Kaminski, and many more. Believe me, women walked into the store knowing exactly what they wanted!
We loaded up the donated shoes and will take them to the Nashville warehouse on Friday. Soon those shoes will be on the way to people around the world who can use them.

Dash and Tim Cross into South Carolina

June 20, 2010

After Tim and Dash helped us with the Savannah shoe distribution, we went out for a Mexican buffet lunch. (Who knew there were Mexican buffets!) We strolled through historic Savannah, enjoying that Allan didn’t have to watch for tree limbs overhead. Once again it was time for Dash and Tim to load up their heavy backpacks and hit the road. We dropped them off at the beginning of a lo-o-o-o-o-ng bridge that would get them to South Carolina. We stayed in the RV, so we could watch them cross the bridge from a distance. Soon Dash called and said “We started walking across the bridge but there are signs saying pedestrians are prohibited.” No problem. The Soles4Souls RV came to the rescue! They got back in the RV and we drove across the bridge, dropping them off at the South Carolina border. Happy hiking guys!

New Shoes Ease Foot Problems

June 19, 2010

This man came to the Savannah distribution wearing size 9 1/2 shoes. We discovered he actually wore a size 11 1/2. You can imagine how happy he was to get well-fitting shoes.

New Shoes for Savannah

June 18, 2010

It was a challenge driving to our distribution at the Holy Spirit church in Savannah, Georgia. The streets are lined with gorgeous, huge live oak trees that have massive branches hanging over the road. Signs along the way warned drivers , “Trucks use left lane”. Allan carefully steered clear of the limbs jutting over the road.
Our distribution was coordinated by Lutheran Family Services, which invited foster children and homeless adults to come get free shoes from Soles4Souls. Again and again, I notice how serious many foster kids are. When I ask a little girl if she’d like a pair of sparkly pink shoes or a purple pair, usually there is just a blank stare. It takes several efforts to get them to know they have a choice in picking a pair of shoes. Sometimes there are smiles as they leave, but often they leave with what seems to me as the weight of the world on their shoulders.
We also met many adults wearing tattered shoes. “I can’t believe I’ll have dry feet the next time it rains!”, one woman said as she left with new shoes. A special thanks to Wes, who ran a tight ship with crowd control. I love him because he even made people turn off their cell phones when they entered the room. As for me, I have my standard policy of telling the young guys they have to pull up their pants if they want to sit in my chair and get a pair of shoes. The majority laughs and say, “You sound just like my mom.”

Mothers Know Best

June 15, 2010

Tim's wild birthday bash

Refuge from heat

Maybe it was just a mother’s intuition, but I felt I needed to check in with Dash and Tim as they walked to Savannah. After a few texts and phone calls, we decided to pick them up and give them a break from the heat. What heat? Ohhhh just the 105 degrees with stifling humidity that has hit Georgia. We celebrated Tim’s 21st birthday in an air-conditioned restaurant, then went to an air-conditioned grocery store and bought ice cream. Dash tried sorbet for the first time and declared it a winner. With quit a bit of “nudging” on our part, we convinced Dash and Tim to take a few day’s break from walking in the heat by staying in a hotel. Since it is expected to be 110 degrees today, I have a feeling they are enjoying their air conditioned room. And I’m enjoying the fact that “my boys” aren’t going to pass out from heat stroke!