Friday, October 24, 2008

Just One Pair




It’s cold here. For some of us the winter is a beautiful time of year. The snow in the mountains is breathtakingly lovely. For others, however, it's nothing but a painful nuisance.

Your challenge today is both simple and easy.

It’s going to get cold outside. For many of us who live in the northern climes, it’s no big deal to walk outside and keep our feet warm and dry.

For others, however, such a task is not so easy. They can’t afford a decent pair of shoes or boots. What they wear out in the snow might be okay for us once in awhile, but some folks have no choice.

Their shoes have worn out.

They have holes in them.

They leak and let in the ice and snow that winter brings.

Just going out to get the mail – normally a five minute event – can leave them with cold, achy feet for the rest of the day.

How would that feel to you? I bet you wouldn’t like it, even for just a day.

For some people, it’s a daily reminder of their poverty.

The economy has forced so many people to shift their priorities. Some people I know have had to decide between getting gas to go to work to make money for food and rent, or other necessities like medicine and other needful things. Their priorities don’t leave a lot of room for what we might call frivolous – new shoes.

What for you and me is a luxury is a basic necessity to others.

A necessity they’ll try doing without for one more winter.

This should not be.

This is an election year. I’d like to remind you of a campaign slogan from someone who wanted to be president long before you or I were born.

In his 1928 campaign, Herbert Hoover promised a chicken in every pot.

A great slogan – but I think we can update that.

How about in the waning months of 2008 and the dawning months of 2009 we say:

“A new pair of shoes on every person”

Can we do it?

I think we can.

Working together, I know we can.

While we shop for our own shoe collection, how about we do something small and simple? How about we buy just one pair of extra shoes? They don’t have to be expensive – but they should be practical and sturdy.

While you’re shopping, think of someone you know who needs a decent pair of shoes.

Buy just one pair of shoes for them. Keep the receipt in case you get a size that doesn’t fit them. Then, offer to make the exchange for them so they don’t have to. You can even buy a gift card to a shoe store if you don’t want to buy the shoes right then.

If you can’t think of anyone who needs shoes, I know you can find out who can put them to good use.

Here’s a tip: if you don’t know who needs shoes, call 2-1-1. In most areas, the kind people at the other end of this information line can direct you to a church, synagogue, temple or charity who will gladly accept your donation.

So, how about it?

A pair of shoes on every person.

Are you in?

Thank you so much for being willing to tackle this daily challenge. Thank you also for being willing to post this elsewhere (please link back). Thanks for digging, stumbling, retweeting and otherwise passing it on.

I appreciate you.
Remember, Service is the Action Form of Love!

James

4 comments:

ShoeSmitten said...

I'm in! Thanks for the inspirational post - I sometimes take for granted the luxuries I have. I'd like to help those who need it.

Terrie Lynn said...

Watch for buy one get one free or half price sales. That either cuts the cost of your donation if you're on a budget, or allows you to buy additional shoes.

NearlyLive said...

What a Great idea! I never knew about 211.
You asked for a post about service and I immediately thought of Customer Service. since I just received such Amazing service @ The Men's WearHouse where coincidentally, they're taking in gently used suits to be donated to local charities GREAT idea! I'm turning mine in! and maybe I'll buy an extra to give away.
Warmest Regards
Jim Z in AZ

Kim Woodbridge said...

Yesterday it was pouring and the first bitter cold day in Philadelphia. There was a homeless man outside of work who looked so cold and so wet. When thinking about what I could possibly do, I thought about this article that I had read a couple of days before. I've decided to buy extra hats and mittens, keep them in my backpack, and distribute them as needed. There isn't much I can really do for these people, but no one deserves to suffer like that.

Thank you for the inspiration.