Our Global Experiences Are Back!
After a long hiatus, our team is finally back on the ground with travelers getting an up-close view of our mission. Last month our Vice President of Outreach, Tiffany Turner, led a group across various towns in Honduras, distributing over 500 pairs of new shoes. The communities served were impacted greatly by last year’s hurricanes, Eta and Iota, and continue to recover from the damage and losses.
For over a year the pandemic halted all of our trips, yet our dedicated volunteers and shoe drive hosts continued to step up to the plate, allowing us to still get gently used shoes to our entrepreneurs. Now as we navigate travel in a world still greatly impacted by COVID, our team has taken extra precautions to ensure safe, yet still meaningful trips for our groups.
“I would say as a leader, the most meaningful moment was spending time with our partner in their warehouse, sorting and cleaning shoes that will be sold by entrepreneurs there. Several of the travelers have spent lots of time, resources and effort collecting shoes for us, and for them to see where those shoes go and how they impact people’s lives is a beautiful thing to behold. It really makes the moment come full circle,” said Tiffany.
One of the additional ways Soles4Souls provides opportunities through shoes is by having men and women repurpose and clean many of the donated pairs. It makes them easier to sell for the entrepreneurs, but also provides employment in another way. Although many of our trips are structured around distributing new shoes to children in need, it’s equally as important that our travelers get to see and experience first-hand the work that goes into preparing shoes for our entrepreneurs.
Our COO Mike Shirey joined the trip as well with his son Connor, introducing him to Soles4Souls’ work.
“Little did he realize how many people in the world really need the basics, like a pair of shoes. Seeing how the shoe donations made in the US by everyday people, actually create jobs abroad, was a great lesson for him to see in real life. It was a fun, meaningful trip that we will always remember,” said Shirey.
To join on one of our next trips, consider starting a shoe drive! If you collect 25,000 pairs, you can earn a trip for two to distribute shoes to people in need. Learn more here.