HELP BUY SOME SHOES AND CREATE SOME SMILES!
We’ve all heard the expression: “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” Well, I was watching the children play at one of our VAMOS! centers recently, (we were holding our own version of the Olympics!) and I couldn’t help but notice the shoes most of the children were wearing – too small, too big, ripped, holes, no laces and so on. Then I looked at the smiles on the children’s faces – big, huge, toothy grins that had no connection to their shoes, but did reflect the amount of laughter and fun that they were involved in. Then Antonio walked by me. I have no idea how his shoes stayed on his feet. They were 4 sizes too big and without laces. Yet Antonio won our long jump competition! “How do your shoes stay on your feet?” I asked. “I don’t know,” he answered, “but my feet are growing so soon they will fit me!” Two things struck me. First, I could never walk a mile in those shoes, and second – Why can’t we ask people to help some of these children, and their moms, to get new shoes!
Antonio and so many others need good quality shoes that fit. Why can’t we buy these VAMOS! girls and boys a new pair of shoes? And their mothers too! Of course new shoes will do more than help Antonio jump higher and farther. Here, walking is the primary mode of transportation. Walking to school or work over rocky, dusty, unpaved roads is a part of everyday life in the poorer neighborhoods of Cuernavaca. Most of our children have never had a new pair of shoes. It seems like such a simple gift to you and me, but I can assure you that new shoes will have a real impact on their lives. There is the feeling that they are worth a new pair of shoes. The feeling that someone thought enough about them to buy them a new pair of shoes. They will feel important, cared for, loved, and that can make all of the difference.