As I pulled bags of shoes into my living room this past Sunday to tie and band together, an overwhelming sense of pride came upon me. Surprisingly, it was not about the "business" side of it all. It was about family. It was about the lessons that were taught to my 3 and 5 year old boys. The lesson of a how such a small act of kindness can make a big impact and give a sense of hope to so many others.
It is said that charity begins at home, but it should not end there. Our little ones reminded us of this, and have inspired us to make Gaia Gives a family affair.
Gaia Fit held it's inaugural Gaia Gives event, a shoe drive benefitting Soles4Souls, Saturday, March 3rd. We ran a free 40 minute Boot Camp class at the Rumson Fire House. Despite the rainy and chilly morning, our event collected over 160 pairs of shoes and $100 to benefit Soles4Souls. Every $1 to Soles4Souls equals 1 pair of shoes for someone in need.
While preparing for the shoe drive, I found myself explaining to the boys why and how we were planning and doing the event. I kept the explanations simple and was not sure if they were really understanding how fortunate they were to have the simple necessity of shoes (and several pairs)! It was on the morning of the event, when my oldest went into his closet and brought me a pair of shoes and said, "these are for the children who do not have any shoes." My 3 year old looked up at his older brother, ran up the stairs then ran down and finally emerged with a pair of shoes he too was going to donate. They were so proud of their act.
As we counted, tied and packed the shoes in boxes, I felt so proud of them. Then I felt proud of my husband and I. We discussed how important this really was for our family. What lessons we have taught our children and so many other families. You do not need a lot of money to make a difference and provide a sense of hope. We can all take part in making a difference in the world.
We plan on making the shoe drive an annual event and I am brainstorming and looking forward to the planning of our next Gaia Gives program. It will be simple and small, but it will help others realize how that is all it takes to make a great impact on the world!
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