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Operation Inspire - Soles4Souls in Haiti

Created at 2/2/2010 7:05 PM  by Ron Knapp 
Last modified at 2/2/2010 7:05 PM  by Ron Knapp 

Operation Inspire

Individually, it can be hard to make a real difference.  But, when you combine the power of thousands, amazing things happen.  Our basement is proof  of this.  We have a five foot high pile of shoes that extends the entire length of our basement.  Over 7,000 pairs of shoes collected for Soles4Souls.  All thanks to people like you.  

I was moved by the efforts of so many who cleaned out their closets and held shoe drives of their own.  People like Susan and Kate from South Windsor who collected over 2,500 pairs of shoes and took the time to sort and match them before dropping them off.    
I was touched by kids like Julia and Amelia who proudly added their shoes to the growing pile, only to pause when they got to their sparkle sneakers.  You could sense that they wanted to keep them, but then they thought about how the shoes would make a young girl in Haiti very happy and lovingly put them in the pile. 
At a cost of $2 per pair, I was also overwhelmed by how I was going to afford to ship the shoes to Soles4Souls in Nashville.  Our Bake & FF Gear Sale on Saturday raised nearly $800 (thanks to all who generously donated and to Tara, Carrie and Shirley for baking such wonderful treats) and Mizuno donated another $500 (thank you Colin!).    
But then Christine Lee from 96.5 FM came into the store to get a new pair of sneakers.  She immediately called her co-worker, Gary Craig, who offered to talk about our predicament on their morning show.  When they were unable to find someone to donate their shipping services, the Craig & Company morning show stepped-up and offered to cover all of our remaining expenses to drive the shoes to Nashville.  WOW!
So now, Operation Inspire (named in honor of Mizuno's Wave Inspire shoe and the good that all of these shoes will bring) is a go!  This Saturday from 12-4pm, we will be loading all of the shoes into a 22 foot truck which staffer Sean and his friend Randy will drive to Soles4Souls HQ.  We welcome your help matching and loading - as well as any shoes you would like to donate since Craig & Company has challenged us to collect 10,000 shoes.  With peeps like you, I know we can do it!

Be Fit!