Rachel Quade is a determined Kings Contrivance resident who returned from a service trip to Tanzania, Africa in June 2011 and immediately launched a local effort to collect 50,000 pairs of gently used shoes for Soles 4 Souls. Claret Hall is serving as a local collection point through the end of October.
After reading the book “New Old Shoes,” by Charlotte Blessing, that tells the story of a pair of red sneakers that are passed on from an American boy to an African boy, Rachel was inspired to make a difference. She researched the Tennessee-based nonprofit Soles 4 Souls and learned that in the United States an estimated 300 million shoes go into landfills annually, yet there are an estimated one billion people in the world who do not own a pair of shoes. Not having shoes puts individuals at risk for disease and physical damage. Soles 4 Souls provides opportunities for people in need, including the victims of natural disasters both in the United States and throughout the world, to receive shoes. In addition, the non-profit has established programs to help impoverished people in developing nations with the resources to start and maintain micro-enterprises refurbishing and selling the used shoes.
Rachel spent five days in Africa in June on a Soles 4 Souls effort to provide children in several orphanages with shoes. Upon her return, the stark differences between her experiences in Africa and the material wealth in the United States spurred her into action. She has already collected more than 2,000 pairs of shoes, enlisted the support of numerous local organizations and businesses, and inspired many Howard Countians to join in the effort. Help to change the world one pair at a time! If you are interested in becoming more involved in this effort contact Rachel Quade at 301-483-0088, firstname.lastname@example.org, or wwww.rachel-solittletime.blogspot.com. For more information on Soles 4 Souls visit www.soles4souls.org.