Giving Back - The Footsteps Program

The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art. – Leonardo da Vinci

It’s important to wear GOOD shoes, because those GOOD shoes will take you to a GOOD place… - Unknown

Since November 2015, Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists collected shoes for the Footsteps Program that benefited children in foster care.This was part of the Foster Children's Rights Coalition.  We were approached about this program by one of our patients, Connie, who asked if we would be interested.  Being that we are a Podiatry practice, we thought this was an excellent opportunity to do some great things in our community.

We put a collection box in our office, and for almost a year our patients and community friends donated all different sizes and styles of shoes.  It was an outpouring of generosity that touched us as an office.  We had one patient, Cody, a student and member of Civil Air Patrol Squadron 302, and with his squadron collected over 30 pairs of shoes.  Friends of the community shared and posted our shoe drive and donated to the cause as well.

On Saturday, October 29, staff from Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists volunteered their time to organize and distribute shoes to foster children.

Jamie Lau, Patient/Community Relations Coordinator was just in awe with how many shoes were donated.  “The amount of shoes collected was unbelievable and inspiring.  To see the community donate so many shoes really made an impression on me”.  Jamie was part of the morning volunteer crew and she also was happy to see so many volunteers from all ages participate in helping out.  “To see the amount of people who showed up and just went to work was truly heartfelt to me.  It was such an organized and fun event to participate in”.

Heather Duffy, Back Office Supervisor/Lead Medical Assistant, not only participated, but also brought her children Zak and Charlie and Zak’s girlfriend, Deja, to participate.  Heather says, “My kids felt proud to participate and also made them appreciate what they have in their life”.  Heather participated in the afternoon and was in awe with how many shoes were on the bleachers and also leading into the auditorium.  Heather stated, “The Footsteps program is needed and it shows that a lot of the people in the community do care about foster children because of the generous donation”.  Heather also said that she personally knows foster parents and there is a need for a shoe drive like this to help support not only foster parents but the children as well.

Dr. Gary Friedlander spent the afternoon as well as a volunteer and also helped fit some of the children into the right shoes.  “It was nice that we could participate and help out the community with this shoe drive.  I would really like to see and even participate in this again.  All of the volunteers were great to work with and really had their heart in the right place”.

We want to thank Amy Schulz, our Liaison, for always being there and helping us along the way.  Thank you for your support and guidance for the past year.  Also, thank you for the introduction with Helen’s Hope Chest because we do want to continue donating to foster children in Arizona.

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