Warsaw –Eric Lane, founder and executive director of Fellowship Missions Homeless Shelter in Warsaw, has found that well-fitting, clean shoes and socks are some of the most basic necessities that go unnoticed for people on the margins. That’s why Fellowship Missions, in partnership with the annual Tracey Yeager Memorial 5K Run/Walk, is hosting Soles for Souls shoe and sock drive during the month of May, cumulating on Memorial Day at Winona Park.
Children’s and adult athletic shoes, work shoes, and shoes of all kinds and sizes are needed.
“Kids need shoes for school, shoes for gym class, and then you add sports – football cleats, baseball, basketball, soccer shoes. Kids and adults who experience homelessness often don’t participate in sports and activities, simply because they can’t afford to get the right gear,” said Lane. All shoes that are clean and with good life left in them are welcomed.
In particular, Lane notes that extra-large sizes are always in high demand. Donated socks should be new or like-new. “Socks, any undergarments, and clean ones, are something that a lot of us take for granted sometimes, “said Lane. “But something as simple as a new, clean pair of socks works to remind a homeless individual that they’re not forgotten.’”
Donated items may be dropped off on Memorial Day during TYM5K in Winona Lake Park, or at any participating race sponsor in the weeks leading up to the race. SYM Financial Advisors, coordinators of TYM5K, will also accept donations at their office: 801 Park Ave, Winona Lake. 2016 will be the first year for Soles for Souls, but local sponsors hope to see the movement grow.
“What really speaks to us at SYM is the way Eric and his team shepherd their residents with wisdom and love, and at extremely low costs compared to other homeless shelters,” said Jerry Yeager, SYM Financial Advisors CEO, expressing appreciation to the Mission for putting each dollar to its best use. “The life impact per dollar donated is truly a strong value for philanthropists.”
Please contact Eric Lane at Fellowship Missions to place a drop box at your place of business, gather donations from within your group, or to host Eric Lane at your organization for a short presentation about the Soles for Souls drive. Eric may be reached at [email protected] 574-268-9555.