901…That is the number of pairs of shoes that we, with your help, at Oregon Foot Care Centers collected for the Soles for Souls shoe drive 2016!! What an incredible response and I offer my sincere thanks to all who looked in their hearts and then in their closets to give from what you have.
Last year, in 2015, we had exceeded my expectations by collecting 512 pair of shoes. Certainly, I had hoped to surpass that number in 2016 but I had not anticipated the incredible response we received. We do have the best patients!
I look for worthwhile opportunities in which to participate to help lift up others in some way. The Soles for Souls shoe drive each year does just that. The donated shoes are processed and “sold” to individuals in economically depressed locations across the globe, these individuals then set up a business, often a roadside stand, and resell the shoes. Something so simple as a pair of shoes can offer a life changing opportunity for the end user. A job for a father supporting his family, for a mother caring for her children or for a child for whom a pair of shoes may make the difference in getting to go to school or not in a society where a uniform is required and shoes are an integral part of that. The seller of the shoes is now a business owner, supporting his or her family and economy. The principle of teaching a person to fish instead of giving a person a fish applies.
In our culture most of us get up each morning and make a choice as to what shoes we will wear for the day and think nothing of it. Black or brown, dress or casual. Going for a run, hunting maybe or to work. Shoes worn? Stop on the way home a get a new pair. For those who receive the shoes that you donate the choice it is different, their choice is but one, but life changing.
Again, I offer my sincere thanks to each of you who participated with your donation (a few donated cash) and urge those who did not to consider donating next year and once again help us exceed this years donation and go for 1000.