One recent Thursday morning, as l walked into the office, I was approached by an unfamiliar woman.
“Good morning,” she said cheerfully as I approached the building. “I peered through the window and noticed that donation bin for shoes,” she exclaimed. In my hurry, I quickly acknowledged her statement and attempted to carry out my mission – drink coffee and start the workday.
Without hesitation, she continued, “Ma’am, I’d like to make a donation to your box.”
This time I stopped and that’s when I noticed that this sweet soul speaking to me looked as though she had been sleeping outside for quite some time. She retrieved a pair of men’s shoes from her meager stash of belongings. She returned to me with a donation in hand. A light brown pair of men’s dress shoes, which were well-kept, but incorrectly sized for her to wear. She was so excited to be able to give to those in need.
Although happy to give, she could not neglect her own obvious need and asked, “Is there any chance you have any women’s shoes, around a size 9 in there?” Her shoes were tattered to complete disrepair, and it was evident that they needed to be replaced.
There in our office entry sat the Soles4Souls donation bin that I hoped would have shoes just the right size for her. Thankfully, it didn’t take long to locate a pair of gently worn shoes from the crowded donation bin. The smile when she first saw the shoes was unimaginable, and as she placed them on her feet she began to weep with gratitude.
It was in this moment that I began to fully understand why the world needs organizations like Soles4Souls. Shoes are something that most people reading this don’t give a second thought. Each day we search our closets for the perfect pair to match the day’s outfit, but for many, shoes are a need not realized without those who give graciously.
Soles4Souls is a 501 (c)3 organization that meets needs across the globe. They strive to make a difference by partnering with others to provide shoes, clothing, and opportunities to people in poverty around the world. This nonprofit organization repurposes the wearable textiles that would ordinarily end up in landfills and puts them to good use in communities throughout 129 countries.
Founded in 2006, this organization has a mission to create sustainable jobs and provide relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world. To date, they have repurposed 83,125,796 pairs of shoes and pieces of clothing. They have successfully made a mark in disrupting the poverty cycle through job creation and the empowerment of people.
This quarter, EnableComp is proud to support Soles4Souls by hosting an in-person and virtual shoe drive. Empowered team members throughout our organization have shown what it means to be, “We Before Me,” by coming together to fight poverty alongside Soles4Souls.
Donations are still being accepted here, or shoes can be mailed directly to Soles4Souls using a free shipping label from Zappos for Good. Join us in our partnership with Soles4Souls with an individual donation or become a partner and register for a shoe drive at Soles4Souls.org.