You Did it!
With 2022 in the past, we are so thankful to our owners, guests, and local community, who put so much work into making every Soles4Souls shoe drive an amazing one. We reached an astounding 1,012 pairs of shoes (and even some clothes) donated to shelters and communities in need. With a goal of only 700, we were delighted when after Thanksgiving, we surpassed our goal and then had to extend the deadline as people called and wanted to drop off donations when they arrived in early December. Because of this, we, for the 2nd year in a row, had over 1,000 donations to count, clean, package, and send to the Soles4Souls organization.
S4S believes everyone deserves a good pair of shoes. “We work closely with our partners to make connections with people and communities in need so that we can provide new shoes and clothing to people in need across the U.S. and around the world. They’re more than just a pair of shoes. When people experience economic hardship—either chronically or because of a crisis—meeting basic needs is a challenge. Together with 1,800+ partners around the world, we get new shoes and clothing to people in crisis, freeing up financial resources they can use toward other needs.” Because of this amazing company and their hard work and dedication, we love helping them every year we can, with your help too! To learn more about Soles4Souls, you can click here or check out their Facebook here.
Getting the Community Involved
We wanted to say thank you to all of our owners, guests, locals, and renters who came and donated shoes for this drive. Almost every day, we were getting contacted to come and pick up donations or people asking where the drop-off locations were. I was running around every week, either spreading the word or picking up donations for the many locations that wanted to help. From boxes and garbage bags to shopping totes and duffle bags, they never stopped coming in, and my car was full.
We had many locals help us achieve this significant donation and wanted to take a moment and call out all their hard work! For the local businesses, The Copper Kettle Teabar did a fantastic job, and they even became a drop-off location for the other parts of Baldwin County. The Copper Kettle is a locally owned tearoom and lunch spot, they offer great beverages with a menu carrying over 130 options of drinks, from basic iced tea to mixed boba milk teas. They also serve coffee and health-conscious drinks, everything can be served hot, iced, sweet, unsweet, caffeine, herbal, and anything in-between. And if you’re hungry, they make a fresh lunch daily, but check out their Facebook as the menu changes daily.
We had more than just the Kettle help us out, though. A few other businesses that helped us are Mission 25 Hair Studio and Bagel Boy. If you want to look good and feel good doing it, then Mission 25 is your place, they are a great place to get your hair cut, styled, or colored, and they love giving back to the community. Kristie is the owner, and she is happy to help with any hair styling or cutting needs! Bagel Boy is a brand-new business that is making waves with its handmade bagel sandwiches with generous amounts of schmears and mouthwatering toppings. They also offer all types of goodies and coffee drinks, so stop by and tell the owner Alex that I sent you!
Another donation spot was St Margaret of Scotland church in Foley. They are always eager to help us and do what they can, as they do many fundraisers and charities like feeding and sheltering the homeless and caring for new mothers and their kids. They took up collections for the month of November and into December to make sure they even were able.
It Takes A Village
It was all hands on deck when it was time to sort the shoes before sending them off. We had plenty of sunshine in the forecast, so we decided that the best place to showcase all of the donations was outside by the fountain and mini-golf green. It was quite the workout getting all the shoes moved to the green and then setting them up. After some fun photos and admiring all the hard work our community put into collecting the shoes, it was time to pack. We had to divide the shoes up and count them as we put them in shipping boxes. After using copious amounts of packaging tape, and a trip to the store to buy more, we gathered them onto a box truck and took them to the UPS store.
Walked a Thousand Miles…
Or at least drove 480 miles to get to the Soles4Souls warehouse in TN. That’s where all the shoes and items donated get sorted, cleaned, and sent off to their new destinations. While collecting shoes, we could only wonder who they would be helping near future. We do know that some of the shoes when to help a local family that had experienced a fire and lost everything. So even the smallest donation made a difference to them. Thank you all for an amazing Soles4Souls Donation year, collecting over 1,000 pairs of shoes for the 2nd year in a row is a huge accomplishment. We hope to have another great one in November, see you then!!