Shoes, shoes, shoes...Sole2Soul shoe sale will benefit shoeless kids in Philippines
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Kami Scott is surrounded by shoes. They fill up her car, lurk in her home and clutter her counters. This weekend, they travel to the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Superior to find new homes.
“I will be thrilled to have my house back,” Scott said.
She’ll be more thrilled when customers walk off with the footwear. Every pair sold brings her one step closer to providing shoes for children in the Philippines.
The Sole2Soul event takes place from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Saturday at the church, 1604 Banks Ave. The donated shoes will sell for $1, $2 or $3 a pair.
“I’ve been impressed with the quality of shoes coming in,” said Rev. G. Darrell Grant with the CMA Church. “There’s every size under the sun.”
The shoes have been donated by Twin Ports residents over the last month and a half. In particular, local Boy Scout, Cub Scout and church youth groups have stepped forward to collect footwear by the bagful.
“The kids are driving this,” Scott said. “It’s been phenomenal.”
A missionary trip to the Philippines island of Mindanao started Scott on the path to the fundraiser. She met with and got to know the families living in a dumpsite city, a city literally on top of a dump. Small huts share the site with smoldering heaps of garbage. Although they live in refuse, the children were quick to include Scott with smiles, laughter and games.
“I met these kids and fell in love with them,” Scott said, and her church began to support bi-monthly meals for them. A recent picture from Pastor Jered Ramada, who serves the dump site city through Jesus for All Missions, showed Scott another need she could fill. In the corner of one photo was a small boy. On one foot, he wore an oversize Croc; on the other, an oversized flip flop.
“I started to cry,” Scott said. “I thought ‘I have to do something.’”
She decided to shoe the shoeless.
“Everybody’s got shoes in their closet they can’t wear anymore,” she said.
In her closet alone she found 37 pairs of footwear. Most of them went to the sale. Scott is only keeping two pairs of shoes and one pair of boots.
“After all, we do live in the Northland!” she joked.
Scott picked up the pace by asking area organizations for help. When she spoke to youth groups, she brought along a bag of garbage and had children stand on the closed bag to show them what life for these children is like.
“They get it,” Scott said. “They really get it.”
In particular, the Cub Scout packs from Superior and Duluth met the challenge by bringing in more than 500 pairs of shoes.
“I thought that it was kind of weird, people wanting other people’s shoes,” said Luke Soderstrom, 8, a member of Cub Scout Pack 221.
But Scott’s presentation won him over.
“Because other people needed it and it would be good for other people,” Luke said as he added four pairs of shoes to a box for Sole2Soul recently.
Instead of just shipping the shoes overseas, Scott will send the money that is raised from the sale. Ramada will then purchase the appropriate size and style footwear for as many residents of the dump site city as he can.
“It would be ideal to get shoes for everyone there,” Scott said, but at a minimum they want to provide footwear to all the children.
To cross that finish line, they need buyers.
“It’s easy to collect shoes,” said Mary Beth Frost, a friend of Scott’s who is also knee-deep in shoes. “We need to sell them so we can send money to the Philippines.”
Those who attend will have a chance to win door prizes. There will also be a fundraiser for a special feeding for the children at the dumpsite. Donors get a free book with any size donation. Shoes that don’t sell will be distributed to local churches with clothes closets, the Damiano Center and other charitable organizations.
For more information on the event or the cause may be found online at http://sole2soul.giving.officelive.com/default.aspx or call Scott at (715) 817-1862.