Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Coming Soon: Shoe Drive For Homeless Youth

Last year I did a Christmas Day “event” for homeless youth who had nowhere to spend their holiday, and it went beautifully. If you haven’t known me that long, you can read about it here: http://freelance-mom.blogspot.com/2010/07/all-about-christmas-finally.html

Well, plans are still in the works for what to do this year (I know, I know, time is running short and I’d better get moving on it), but there is one thing I would really like to get started on right away. Last year I asked many of the youth (as many as I could get in contact with in advance of the event) what they would like for Christmas. While there were a few variations, the overwhelmingly most asked-for item was shoes. It makes sense when you think about it. A young person who spends their days and nights on the streets does a lot of walking, and they go through a lot of shoes, which are hard for them to come by. I’ve seen them wearing shoes held together with duct tape, and I’ve been there at the Tumbleweed Drop-In House (it’s like a homeless shelter for youth, but open daytime only) when donation boxes came in that included shoes. The boxes didn’t even make it five feet inside the door before those kids were all over them. Shoes get them excited, and they are in constant need of them.

So this year I would like to do a shoe drive. I’d like to have as many pairs of shoes as possible available when I do whatever I decide to do (it’s still up in the air as far as where and how we’ll be doing this year’s function, but I will post more about that later) this Christmas. I plan on asking around for people to donate shoes (used shoes are just fine as long as they’re still functional – these kids are not picky), and also I would like to have somewhat of a fund set up so that we can purchase shoes if needed. For instance, last year there was a particularly large young man who had really big feet, and we had no shoes in his size, so we had to take him to a couple of different stores before we actually found what he needed. Between now and Christmas, my kids and I will be hitting the thrift stores and yard sales for good used shoes, and I am a really good shopper, so I’m sure I can grab up quite a few at low prices. If any of the rest of you out there would like to do the same, it would really be appreciated!

For now, I am just kind of putting this info “out there” so anyone who is interested can perhaps start to keep this in mind, set aside any good shoes you might have been ready to drop of at the Goodwill, etc. If you are local here in Phoenix, I will probably be setting up drop-off locations at my home and also at the church where I work. If you live out of state and would like to be involved in this shoe drive or in this year’s Christmas function, please just keep me in mind and drop me a note when you have a minute. That way I can get in touch with you as ideas are hashed out and we’ve come up with ways for you to be a part of it all.

Thanks for reading, and please do follow my blog if you’re interested in helping homeless and at-risk youth. I will have lots of ideas and things to do that I’ll keep you all updated on as the holidays approach!

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