Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Just in time: New shoes as the first snow of 2015 falls

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To be honest, we weren’t sure if anyone would show up.

Back on December 22, we hosted a Christmas Dinner for our St. Maria’s Meals Program (formerly referred to as our Dinner Van Program) clients, served inside at our headquarters at 924 G Street, NW. Two generous donors, Jim and Cece Koons agreed to purchase a pair of shoes for everyone who came our Christmas dinner. Dinner guests received a voucher to Payless ShoeSource to redeem those new shoes.

Now, on the date of redemption – January 6 – the first snowfall of the season was in full blast. And yet, at 8:30 am, on a day when our low-barrier shelters were going to be staying open all day due to the weather, there was a line of men and women waiting around the corner at the shoe store at 12th and G Streets, NW.

“I woke up this morning and said, ‘Lord, just hold off on that snow until I can get a new pair of shoes’,” one gentleman said with a big grin on his face. Another man said, “Just in time!” as he lifted his worn pair to show a few sizable holes in the bottom.

Staff went literally 'above and beyond' to help out their first
customers of the day.
More than 65 people were able to get a new pair of shoes and socks from the store, who partnered with us in the endeavor. We owe a big shout out of thanks to the staff of the Payless ShoeSource, who though short-staffed due to the snow, were very warm and welcoming. At least two of the staff had commutes of more than an hour and a half to make it in time to open the store. And of course, none of it would be possible without the generosity of Jim and Cece Koons who bought each pair of shoes.