My husband and I love running and between the two of us, we can rack up a decent number of miles each week. There’s a ton of benefits from this–more energy, staying healthy/fit, etc. But there is a downside to this hobby…shoes. We go through a lot of them. My husband, who hates throwing ANYTHING away, will have countless pairs of old running shoes piled in our closet…and I’m not much better. But today, these shoes that carried us for hundreds of miles were now being pulled out of retirement and were going to be part of my act of kindness for the day.
I got out my old tennies…Mike gave me 2 of his…and even my 3 year old wanted to chip in and brought me her old pair. With these 8 shoes ready to go, we piled in the car and headed to one of my favorite stores–Runner’s Plus by the Dayton Mall. Our visit there was fast–probably less than 30 seconds. Inside their front door sits a box filled with old pairs of shoes that others had already donated. I was happy to put ours on top of the pile. The store has a partnership with Soles 4 Souls–an amazing organization that takes the shoes, cleans them and then distributes them to those who don’t have any shoes at all. So before you toss your old shoes in the trash, check out some of your favorite shoe stores and see if they accept donations. I’m hoping that there are now 4 pairs of feet somewhere in the world that are much happier.
But this was only half of my act for the day. Next stop, Kohl’s. I was on a very specific mission: find new shoes for a little 4 year old girl, Carissa. Over the past few years, I’ve had the pleasure of managing my company’s Christmas charity program (I LOVE my job!). This year we partnered with Hannah’s Treasure Chest, a local non-profit that is dedicated to helping underprivileged children. Nearly 100 ornaments hung on the tree in my company’s lobby…each with a Christmas wish for a child in need. I was happy to fulfill a few of these request, including a new pair of shoes for little Carissa. (I’ll be sharing more details about my company Christmas program later this week.)
It did give me a bit of an ah-ha moment though and definitely put things into a new perspective. My 3 year old daughter has so many toys–and will soon be overwhelmed with even more at Christmas. But somewhere there was a little girl who just needs a pair of shoes. I felt great to be the person to give them to her.
I love the name “Soles 4 Souls”…but it took a new meaning for me today. Giving a few people soles, it was my soul that really received the most.