Brotherly Love: Third Annual ‘Shoes For Life Event’
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by Ukee Washington
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When it comes to charity, a local group of girls aren’t just talking the talk, they’re walking the walk.
In the basement of the Berean Presbyterian Church on Broad Street, shoes were spread across tables, and there were even more upstairs.
“An article appeared in the paper that said one of the things, particularly, for people in need is shoes,” said Donna Ruley, the executive director of Teenshop Inc.’s Zion Chapter. “We thought, ‘we can address that need.’”
It’s all part of the third annual “Shoes For Life” event, organized by Teenshop, Inc. The program serves girls ages 13 to 18 and focuses on college preparation, career development and community service.
“I think anytime you have an opportunity to give back it’s rewarding,” Ruley said. “Seeing the girls being able to give back for their first time, just to be able to be involved in giving back to the community. I just love it.”
The girls start collecting the shoes in September, and this year, they teamed up with Fairy Godmothers Of Pennsylvania for the “Celebrity Prom Shoes Salon.” One pair was donated by singer Brandy.
“Seeing people that don’t have anything for prom, seeing them receive shoes, is very exciting,” said Lashaya Rogers, a volunteer with Teenshop’s Zion Chapter.
Dajah Rowe, another volunteer, said taking part is very rewarding. “Some girl was looking for silver shoes and we didn’t have it, so I gave her some other type of glittery shoes and she was very excited.”
From prom shoes to sneakers to sandals, for everyone involved with the event, it’s a truly soulful experience.
“It brought tears to my eyes,” said Latonya Goss, the group’s Community Service Director and a former volunteer for Teenshop. “It brought tears to my eyes that we could actually help somebody that didn’t have anything.”
This year, more than 3,000 pairs of shoes were collected overall — more than 1,000 of those by Zion Chapter.
For more on Teenshop, visit: http://teenshop.org