When we revisit places where we volunteer we love the feeling of connectivity it provides us, familiar faces, knowing the general ropes and being surrounded by like-minded individuals. What we also enjoy is being able to learn even more about the company and sometimes we get to try different tasks than the first time.
In September, I found a place I truly felt would be part of our semiannual trips to Seattle.
I knew Mel would feel the same so when we planned our trip to Seattle we made sure to block out time for work. We reached out to Tim again and scheduled some time to have lunch and help out for their upcoming events. This time we would be helping to prepare shoes for a medical clinic where after individuals get a check up they are able to grab a pair of athletic shoes on their way out. It was fun sorting the shoes for this project, kind of like shoe shopping. ;o)
When we arrived at the Redeeming Soles warehouse we were introduced to another volunteer, Liliya. We hit it off right from the start which made sneaker cleaning time fly by.
She had traveled a few months ago to Thailand to volunteer in Phuket for a month. It was nice to hear from a first hand experience just a week before we leave to do similar things. She has a giving heart and definitely has gypsy in her soul. She said we inspire her and the truth of the matter is it works both ways. It’s very satisfying when people are excited and inspired by our mission because that’s been our hope from the beginning.
Over lunch, Tim filled us in on how the non-profit came to fruition. The gentleman who started the company needed shoes. He was displaced and decided to ask individuals outside an office building for shoes. They promised to help him out the next day. He waited outside the building the next day and the professionals filled up his cart. A humble beginning turned into an operation of community, which it still is today. The warehouse in which we worked is lent to Redeeming Soles until it’s projected date of being demolished. At that time they will have to find another building.
Prior to leaving for the day we filled Tim in on our next move to help others overseas. I excitedly let him know we would be bringing our trail runners they so generously donated to the Gypsy Givers during our first visit.
He told us that would be the farthest Redeeming Soles has gone. We are proud to be a part of this movement. We discussed future collaborations and helping to expand their reach. We look forward to being able to help as many people as we can….near or far.