I'm throwing my hat or should I say my shoes into the ring here to support a new charity, established by a few blogging friends of mine. They are all young women (early 20's), having not even established their own paths yet but already compassionately giving back.
What a wonderful thing to know that our next generation is ready to give.
They now have their own Shoes for Samantha blog site and are considering starting a non-profit. I love the story and I want to see this amazing woman have shoes on the feet of all her future track starts. Wouldn't that be amazing? Here's the scoop from Rachel, over at Confessions of a Virgin Blogger. Rachel will be moving to NYC to begin law school in the fall. I'm so happy I've "met" her here in the blogosphere. I want you to know her too. Bottom line, they need running shoes and money to ship them but I'll let her tell you in her own words:
So, to all my friends from around the country. Let's reach across the world, and provide some shoes for these kids to run their hearts out. Just imagine the looks on their faces when they receive their new shoes. We can do it. Hop on over there and give whatever you can.As you may or may not know, my dear friend Samantha is stationed in Lesotho (Southern Africa for those of you who have never heard of it. Don't feel bad - neither had I) for a 2.5 year stint with the Peace Corps. Recently in her blog she wrote about a track team at her school. Sam was a HUGE runner in high school and college and the only person who has ever succeeded in convincing me to run anywhere (which is a feat in and of itself). Track season in Lesotho is almost over but she's talking of coaching next year. The problem? Her students desperately need shoes. Sam writes, "The debatably 400 meter track had two mild inclines and was dirt smeared with shards of glass. My students ran barefoot!" After reading this, I knew I wanted to help.
Our mutual friend Hannah did a little research and found that "a leading cause of disease in developing countries is soil-transmitted diseases, which penetrate the skin through bare feet. Wearing shoes can help prevent these diseases and the long term physical and cognitive harm they cause."
So, I'm writing to ask if you have any old running or athletic shoes, if you'd be willing to donate them to Sam's students in Lesotho. Any size and gender will do. I sent out an e-mail last week and got an overwhelmingly positive response, including some from a couple of key people who are stepping up to the plate in terms of organization. Because of them, we have six "collectors" for your convenience. Contact the following people and they will work with you to make the easiest exchange possible.
If you live near Columbia or Myrtle Beach, SC contact Stephanie at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you live near Clemson, SC contact Hannah at email@example.com.
If you live near Charleston, SC contact Claire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you live near East Lansing, MI contact Amy at email@example.com.
If you live near Milwaukee, WI contact Angela at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you live in Denver, CO or not in SC at all, contact me, Rachel at email@example.com.
The projected ship date will be May 1, so if you could get your shoes to one of us by then, that would be wonderful. If you want to help but don't have any old shoes, we will gladly accept any monetary donation you are willing to give to cover shipping costs. Also, pass the word on. You never know when a stranger may want to help out but they can't if they don't even know about it! Thanks!