Posts Tagged ‘Donations’

Changing Lives With Shoes and Soles4Souls

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Dear friends and clients,

As many of you know, tomorrow (January 5, 2011) I am headed to Haiti, forgoing a typical winter vacation, so I can distribute shoes to orphans.  I’m traveling with the amazing organization, Soles4Souls, an international shoe charity that collects, recycles and reuses shoes from footwear companies and the general public.

While in Haiti, we will be staying at the Haiti Outreach Ministries (HOM) compound in Port-au-Prince (PAP).   We will visit Cite Soleil, a suburb of PAP, noted as the poorest slum in the entire Western Hemisphere.  Poverty here is indescribable.  There are no public services, and the roads are barely passable.

Nearly 300,000 people live in the area of approximately 2 square miles.  The area is viewed as a difficult place to work; hence few non-government organizations, or other services are available here.

This is a typical street in Blanchard

Next we’ll visit Blachard (“New Land”), another suburb of PAP, located directly north of Cite Soleil closest to the PAP airport.  It is the home to about 200,000 and is growing.  We’ll also visit Ibo Beach, a small rural community of about 15,000 people, located 25km northwest of PAP.   Finally, we’ll visit Repatriote, the newest community being built on former cropland, with the primary intention to house Haitians returning (displaced) from the Dominican Republic.

While at HOM, we’ll have about eight hours of electricity each day, powered by 23 solar panels.  There is no refrigeration, air conditioning, indoor bathroom, or hot water.  We will stay in the second floor of the school building, which was not damaged in the earthquake, which occurred on Jan 12, 2009.  Although the conditions will be different than what I’m used to, I’ll have no room to complain.

Our itinerary will be as follows:

Day 1 – I leave DC at around 7 AM, fly to Miami where I’ll meet the other volunteers.  Together we’ll board a flight to Haiti, arriving at 4 PM.  We’ll board a bus, travel to HOM, eat dinner, gather for a team meeting and crawl into our bunks for bed.

Day 2 – After breakfast, we’ll have our first distribution in Blanchard for school-aged children.  Following lunch we’ll have a second shoe distribution, but this one will be for infants.  We’ll board a ‘tap-taps’ for a ride through downtown PAP and to view the Presidential Place.  Following dinner and a team meeting, I’m sure our volunteer team will pass out from exhaustion.

Tap-taps are basically, local public transportation on four wheels.  It might be a former school bus, or a pick up truck.  They can be painted with beautiful exteriors, religious slogans, or have loud sound systems inside.  I wonder what we’ll be riding on.

Day 3 – Following a breakfast of muffins, fruit and coffee, we’ll travel to Cite Soleil for our third shoe distribution.  We’ll be working with kids in first – third grade.  After lunch, we’ll give shoes to adults in Cite Soleil.  Following the distributions we’ll take a bus trip through the mountains and have the opportunity to buy some gifts.

Day 4 – We’ll actually visit the beach community where we will have lunch and spend time playing with the orphans.  I’m taking several toys I can leave for the children.  I’ve heard from many people the beaches in Haiti are breathtaking.  This will be the first time I’ve been to a beach other then one in Florida, California, or Delaware.

Day 5 – We’ll conclude our trip early in the morning and depart for the airport around 8 AM.  I’ll be back in DC about 12 hours later.

I look forward to sharing more of my experience with you.  It’s through the generous donations of friends, family and my clients that I am able to take this trip and provide shoes to so many people in need.

Shoes stored in the Soles4Souls Warehouse

If you’ve not donated you can still help. First, a simple click here will take you online where you can donate any tax-deductible amount you see fit.  For every $1 donated = 1 person will receive a pair of shoes.  Maybe if you have 10 pairs of shoes, you donate $10.  Or perhaps you donate the amount of your most expensive pair of shoes in your closet?  Visit this fund-raising page to help me reach my goal of touching thousands of souls.

Shoes stored in my condo - You might think I was a hoarder.

Finally, I officially kick off a Soles4Souls shoe drive in the DC, Maryland, Virginia area in late January. I’ve started collecting from clients and friends, and as you can see my condo is overrun with shoes. I hope you’ll donate your unwanted footwear to my collection and volunteer if you’re able to assist.

Thank you for your support of this mission. I couldn’t do it without you.

Warm regards,

Scott

Soles4Souls distributes usable shoes to people in need around the world. Since being founded in 2005 by Wayne Elsey (CEO), Soles4Souls has given away more than 12 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes (currently distributing one pair every 7 seconds). The shoes have been distributed in 125 countries, including Haiti, Kenya, Nepal and the United States.

Donate Your Bike and Make a Difference

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Donate your unwanted bike and make a difference to someone in need.   Bikes for the World works to provide affordable transportation to individuals in developing countries.  The bikes help these individuals get to work and school, or in providing health and education services to low-income rural people. 

I’m impressed that in the first five years (January 2005 – December 2009) of their charity work.  They have donated over 40,000 bicycles to 11 different countries.  I have no doubt that Bikes for the World is the largest bike reuse program in the country.  Visit their benefits page to view their amazing statistics.

Bikes for the World is holding two bike collection drives at local REI stores in September. Future donation locations can be found here.

REI – Rockville, 1701 Rockville Pike
September 18 from 12 PM – 4 PM

REI – Bailey’s Crossroads, 3509 Carlin Springs Rd.
September 19 from 12 PM – 4 PM

A tax-deductible doantion of $10 covers shipping and handling of your bike, your donation will also reduce future landfill waste.

Fashion Meets Eco-Friendly Shopping in DC

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

I’m a huge fan of Goodwill for many reasons.  Mainly because it’s a convenient way for my clients to donate items that have outgrown their home.  And by doing so, they support Goodwill’s mission to educate, train, employ and place people with disabilities and disadvantages.  By supporting Goodwill of Greater DC, we’re assisting people right here in our own area.

Goodwill will be hosting a Trunk Show in DC and is calling all fashionistas, designers, and eco-friendly shoppers to attend and shop ’til they drop! Goodwill of Greater Washington’s Travelin’ Trunk Show will be returning to Greater Goods on Saturday, June 27th from 12:00 – 3:00 PM.

Greater Goods is located at 1626 U Street NW in Washington, DC 20009. If you’ve not had the chance to visit this very cool, eco-friendly store, now you have two reasons to check out the Trunk Show!  While at the store, be sure to checkout and register for one of their ‘Green Living’ classes.

Goodwill will have racks and racks of contemporary and vintage fashions along with donated fabrics and buttons. So, if you’re in the market for some vintage fashion or some fabric to make your own creations, please check out this event on June 27th.

Goodwill also will be accepting donations from your home or closet. All proceeds from this event will support Goodwill’s mission to educate, train, employ, and place people with disabilities and disadvantages throughout the greater DC area.  For more information on Goodwill’s mission and fashion events, visit this website, or read their fashion blog.

Goodwill in Maryland Finds Painting Worth $40,600! Was it an Organizer’s Mistake?

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

As an organizer, I often take clients’ donations to Goodwill. I rely on the client to know the value of what they own. Occasionally I’ll ask a client if we should sell an item or have something appraised before we simply put it in the donation box. Usually, they say, “Oh, that? It’s fake.”

The story was very different in Easton, Maryland, when a painting worth more than $40,000 was donated to Goodwill in error.

This impressionist street scene, “Flower Market” by Edouard-Leon Cortes, was dropped off at an Easton Goodwill store. An employee noticed the unusual painting and plucked it out of the day’s donations for special attention. The painting featured a gold embossed nameplate bearing the artist’s name and the painting’s title. The employee Googled the artist and compared the signature found on the painting with online sources. Excited the painting might be particularly valuable, Goodwill sent it to Sotherby’s for cleaning, authentication, and auction. Goodwill says that even if the owner didn’t intend to make such a large donation, she is out of luck because donations are not tracked and each is considered a legal and final transaction.

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Just imagine, this beautiful work of art might have been yours for $100 at Goodwill!