Nexus Donates Shipping and Shoes for a Good Cause
Nexus was recently invited to help an amazing organization in its plight to provide shoes to thousands of the world’s impoverished children and families. In addition to providing free transportation services to the Share Your Soles organization, Nexus plans to hold a company-wide shoe drive in May 2005 to support the cause. Allen Fisher, MW Director of Transportation affirms: “Ray [Kitching] and I made a visit to the Share your Soles warehouse in Alsip and after experiencing the energy and dedication that is contained within this organization, you cannot help but want to assist them. Mona’s passion for this cause is contagious!”
Founder of Share Your Soles, Mona Purdy, approached Nexus early in 2004 with the request for donated transportation services. She was referred by one of Nexus’ leasing agents, Center Point Properties, who also donates free storage space to Share Your Soles. Share Your Soles is actually one of Nexus’ neighbors, with its central warehouse headquartered in Palos Park, IL. Mona contacted William Hansen, President of Nexus Distribution, to ask for assistance in shipping some pallets of shoes to an Indian reservation in Oklahoma. William found Mona’s remarkable story and organization inspirational and enlightening…
Mona, a single mother of three, was traveling in Guatemala in 1999 when she noticed that children were applying tar to their bare feet during a village festival race to protect against injury. Later during her visit, she met an American orthopedic surgeon who informed her that he regularly visited Central America to perform amputations of children’s infected limbs, in part because the children did not have any shoes to wear.
Mona returned to the states and began to hold small shoe drives with local schools and scout troops. She made one donation of shoes to an orphanage in Honduras, a donation she expected to be her first and last, when one of the workers there desperately asked her, “When are you coming back?” The question changed her life, and she found she was able to further the effort beyond her wildest expectations. Schools, church groups and Civic organizations became involved. The shoe drives attracted the attention of the media; Mona found herself giving interviews to major national newspapers, radio, magazines, and on television.
One thing that amazed William Hansen about Mona’s story was her ability to plan the logistics strategy of the entire operation. Mona has developed relationships with FedEx Global Worldwide, American Airlines, and other transportation providers to secure donated space on trucks, overseas vessels and aircraft. She works with Transportation providers like Nexus to coordinate drayage to ports, transfer of shoes from drive sites, and shipment of shoes to their final destinations. There are some Transportation services that Share Your Soles can’t get for free; for these shipments Mona applies the monetary donations that people and companies have made to Share your Soles. For Nexus’ contributions, in addition to the transportation services that were provided to Indian reservations, Nexus shipped pallets of shoes to San Diego for children in Tijuana, and from Fleet Feet in Cincinnati to the Save Your Souls headquarters in Chicago. Nexus also transported several hundreds of shoes to New York ports for shipments destined for overseas.
Share Your Souls has donated over 50,000 shoes world wide, and the effort continues. Shoes are given in a way that respects the dignity of recipients, in clean and good condition. All tennis shoes are sanitized with hot water and bleach. Leather shoes are polished before distribution. Shoes that have holes or excessive wear are discarded.
(If you wish to make a monetary donation to Share you Souls separate from the shoe drive, please make all checks payable to Share Your Soles).
To learn more about Share Your Soles, please visit www.shareyoursoles.org
Here is a list of the places where our soles may travel to those in need:
Bahamian Out Islands