One woman’s dedication to improving the lives of area foster children has become a city wide campaign to collect items for those in need. Learn how you can help, too.
Sweet Soles For Love is a community outreach campaign requesting donations of shoes to be given to foster children throughout Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Dayton.
Julie Phillippi-Whitney of Phillippi-Whitney Communications came up with the concept during the summer of 2014. She was watching a television broadcast about foster children in Virginia that had to carry their belongings in trash bags when they moved from home to home. This inspired her to collect suitcases for foster children in our region making 2017 the third year the organization has collected items for area foster children.
“Julie reached out first to Hamilton County Job & Family Services to confirm the need for suitcases. She then contacted Sibcy Cline as a partner since she thought we conveniently located branch offices for drop offs. We immediately said yes,” reports Susan Knabe, an employee of Sibcy Cline. With a goal to collect 500 suitcases, the organization ended up with over 10,000 pieces of luggage through the Cases For Love campaign. The next year they collected over 6,800 mittens, hats and scarves for Gloves For Love. This year, they are less than 50 pairs of new shoes away from meeting their goal of 500 pairs with the Sweet Soles Shoe Drive campaign and plan to exceed their goal as they have in the past.
“People have been very generous by donating everything from the smallest of baby shoes, to kid-sized Star Wars sneakers, to larger-sized athletic shoes and boots. It has been thrilling looking at all of the different shoes coming into our offices. We know the foster children are going to love their new shoes,” says Knabe.
One heart-warming story of this campaign comes from a family whose little boy is having a birthday party and does not want any gifts. Instead he has sent out special Sweet Soles For Love party invitations requesting his friends and family come with new shoes to donate towards the Sweet Soles Shoe Drive!
You can get involved by dropping off new, closed toe shoes at any Sibcy Cline location Monday-Friday from 9-5 pm. They are collecting new shoes of all sizes now through Valentine’s Day. If you or someone you know would like to collect shoes through an organization or individually organize an effort, Sweet Soles For Love and Sibcy Cline are happy to provide a digital flyer for the cause.
Our area’s foster children have a great need for new shoes! Many times these children have very few belongings and sometimes lack the basics such as sturdy shoes. Sweet Soles For Love hopes the public reaches out and gets involved with the Sweet Soles Shoe Drive.