When disaster strikes close to home or around the world, it's hard to explain to your kids what happened or why. We are bombarded with these images of destruction and the only message we seem to hear is, "Send Money."
I was looking for a way to teach Max (and the other kids) about giving back, but in a way that makes sense to a child. That's where Soles4Soles comes in. Soles4Souls is a non profit that takes gently used shoes and gives them directly to those in need. Kids can understand that something tragic happened to another child, and they can help by donating their old shoes to the children in need. It's a real and tangible gesture.
Through the Cabrillo Foundation, where I'm a board member, Max's elementary school partnered with Sport Chalet and Soles4Souls to collect shoes for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
We began our shoe drive on Friday, March 25th. We encouraged kids to bring in their gently used shoes to help the kids in Japan that were displaced by the tsunami and earthquake.
The ASB officers helped to organize the shoes, make sure the pairs were mated, tied or banded together and then packed to ship.
The kids of Cabrillo Elementary School in Point Loma collected almost 200 pairs of shoes in a week! We packed them up and brought them over to Sport Chalet on Midway Drive in San Diego so they can be shipped to Soles4Souls and then off to Japan next week!
Although I'm not sure that Max (pictured far left in the chair) completely understands what this is all about, the other kids did. Joseph (pictured in the white t-shirt) said, "This is fun. It feels good to do something for those kids."
So those of you with kids, let them know that they can help. Just find some shoes that still have some use in them and donate to Soles4Souls. For more information, see http://www.soles4souls.org/.