A movement for change – through shoes, volunteerism and Emerging Leaders

By United Way of King County, on September 18, 2018 | In Emerging Leaders 365, Volunteering

Emerging Leaders are out and about making an impact in the community all through the year. But our annual Day of Caring project is always a highlight with almost 100 young professionals lending their hands and hearts in service. Mackenzie Martin works in enterprise risk management at Puget Sound Energy and is one of the Emerging Leaders committee members who participated in this year’s project. Check out her account of the day.

Pause a moment and look down at your shoes.  You may have taken them for granted recently but they are capable of providing comfort, transportation, protection, dignity and confidence.  That’s a lot of hard work for an inanimate object! Unfortunately, there are men, women and children in our community walking through life without suitable footwear.

In order to facilitate their first steps out of poverty, Redeeming Soles is committed to providing proper footwear and dignified foot care to those in need throughout the Pacific Northwest. Redeeming Soles collects new and used footwear via shoe drives and local drop off locations to help stock over 150 organizations in Washington that supply footwear to the homeless and underprivileged.

For this year’s Day of Caring, over 80 Emerging Leaders gathered at Redeeming Soles’ distribution center to prep 1,000 pairs of shoes through cleaning, drying, sanitizing and boxing stations to ready them for pickup by local organizations.

Amidst the hard work, a great amount of fun and introspection was had as well.  There were opportunities for Emerging Leaders to make new and lifelong connections, have meaningful discussions about the importance of volunteerism and contemplate what it would be like to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.

United Way  is committed to ending homelessness and breaking the cycle of poverty and the partnership with Redeeming Soles provided a way for our Emerging Leaders to make a tangible impact in these focus areas while learning about an inspiring local organization to boot.

Do you have shoes that could benefit someone in need? Browse drop-off locations here.

Want to be part of a movement for change? The Emerging Leaders program offers opportunities to volunteer, network, meet local leaders and give back. Sign up here!


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