Can you Imagine not having a pair of shoes?
For millions, the uncomfortable reality of not having shoes is their normal. This leads to many deep concerns regarding health, education, & employment.
We at California Closets of Oregon can’t sit still with that knowledge.
The good work done by the folks at Soles4Souls was brought to their attention in 2014. Since that time, California Closets of Oregon has hosted an annual shoe drive.
The Annual Shoe Drive is an opportunity for community members to donate their gently used shoes at any of their locations. For those who choose to make a purchase with California Closets during the shoe drive, will receive a discount towards their purchase of a California Closets system. For each pair of shoes the customer donates, 1% will be taken off of their total, up to 10 pairs: discount not to exceed $1,000. The response to this campaign has been enthusiastic and the customers have been incredibly generous (with one client who gathered and donated over 40 pairs.) Accumulatively, we have collected over 5,000 pairs.
Last year alone, over 1,500 pairs were collected and donated in December.
We hope to reach 2,000 this year.
Why Soles for Souls?
Soles4Souls has created a non-profit organization that is committed to creating sustainable jobs and providing relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world. Soles4Souls has been able to turn unwanted clothing into an opportunity by providing them to those who have suffered from a disaster and/or fighting poverty, as well as keeping the excess clothing items out of our landfills.
Beyond physical donations, Soles 4 Souls also provides the knowledge to build and repair shoes, helping individuals to have the opportunity to move forward with not only the skillsets to avoid the same situation in the future but, also to create micro-enterprise programs where community members could sell used shoes to generate income.
California Closets of Oregon is privileged to be a part of this community locally, and at large. Within that privilege, they embrace their responsibility and regularly look for opportunities to give back.
We are so thankful that our customers and employees have embraced this shoe drive and our opportunity to do something.
How does having shoes impact a person’s life?
“For me, having a new pair of shoes… meant that I was worthy. It meant I had a choice when choice was such a rare commodity in my life. It meant that I could walk and jump and move without pain. It meant that I had dignity.”
– Khadijah Williams, a survivor of homelessness and advocate for homeless youth
Where YOU can donate today:
West Linn Design Studio
HWY 205 & 43, by Market of Choice
Monday – Saturday 10:00AM-6:00PM
Pearl District Design Studio
1235 Burnside St
13th & Broadway
Monday – Saturday 11:00AM-6:00PM
Bend Design Studio
937 NW Newport Ave (2nd level entry in back)
Monday – Saturday 10:00AM-6:00PM
Learn about the Impact below:
One of those individuals stands Vanessa Rodriguez, at the time: age 25, with two children and living in a struggling rural community in Honduras, where most live in extreme poverty (less than $1.90 per day.) For Vanessa and many others, finding a stable job with a sustainable income wasn't a reality and causing extreme difficulties to make ends meet. Soles4Souls first met Vanessa after distributing shoes to her children and soon realizing an opportunity to work with their partner on the ground to develop the micro-enterprise program, mentioned above. Vanessa has since assumed a leadership role as president of the community co-op, where her and three other members sell shoes on a continual basis to provide for their families and community.
Another face of impact is Marie-Ange Espera, who lives in Haiti, where 2 out of 3 people live on less than $2 per day. Just a few years ago, Marie-Ange was living in a small shack with her daughter without a reliable way to bring in a steady income and was facing eviction, causing the fearful outcome of she and her daughter being forced to live on the streets. Thankfully, Marie-Ange soon found the Haitian American Caucus, an organization that provides loans to entrepreneurs to start their own small businesses, bringing forth today, Marie-Ange being a successful entrepreneur. With the help of the Haitian American Caucus and Soles4Souls, she now has a thriving business selling shoes and clothing. In lead of her newfound success, Marie-Ange has been able to build a home for her family and continues to grow her business every day.