Monday, February 25, 2013

Redeeming Soles // serving the community in Seattle, WA

Over the weekend, the youth group from our church had the opportunity to volunteer and serve at a place in Seattle called Redeeming Soles.This organization collects footwear for the homeless and underprivileged throughout the Puget Sound area. We helped them sort shoes by gender and style, cleaned them up, and packaged used shoes to be shipped out to others in need. We were able to clean and package 606 pairs of shoes in all!! We heard the story of Scott Sowle, the founder of this organization. As a former homeless person for more than 13 years, he knows first hand about the needs for shoes in the community. At one point while Scott was homeless, he needed a pair of work boots for a job, but after more than a month of visiting various charitable organizations, he came away empty handed. He was discussing his need for boots with a caseworker from the largest homeless service provider. With tears in her eyes, the staff member told him that while the organization regularly received clothing, food and blankets they seldom got proper footwear. This stayed with him. In 2010 he began to take action and start collecting shoes. In February of 2011, a group of people inspired by Scott’s mission began to meet and formed Redeeming Soles, which soon became a State of Washington non-profit organization. (info taken from the about section on their website) Redeeming Soles has a donation booth at many of the Seattle area’s running events throughout the year, including the Rock n Roll Marathon and the Jingle Bell Run. Check them out, and consider donating some of your shoes! While used shoes may seem like a small contribution, it could change someone's life!

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