About five weeks later and after asking friends to help, we walked into a Corona elementary school with 32 pairs of shoes. That ONE boy's need changed my life. As I sat on my knees in front of each child, removing the old torn and worn out shoes most of whom were without socks on a cold, rainy day, I prayed silently in my head. There was ONE child in particular whose story inspired this ONE stay-at-home mom to give away almost ONEthousand pairs of shoes over a 4-year period.
I knew the moment I met young Abby, that my mission was bigger than just providing shoes. Abby was a sweet, soft spoken, kind and smiley young girl. As I was putting shoes on her dirty socked feet, I was struggling with the lacing. While I normally say a little prayer over the child, my prayer turned into, “Lord please help me with these laces.” Abby could tell that I was a little frustrated, and she smiled and said, “its’ okay, they don’t have to be perfect.” At that moment, my heart’s desire changed and I began to pray for Abby that the Lord would meet all her needs, give her protection, and fill her heart with joy and love for her lifetime. After figuring out the laces, little Miss Abby stood up, so proud, and with the biggest smile on her face , proceeded to give me a hug like none other I had experienced. It wasn’t until later that morning that I learned Abby had 4 siblings, from 4 different fathers and had been abused in the worst way by one of them who was now serving in prison. My heart broke and I wept. I felt unbelievably privileged that I had the opportunity to talk with this young girl and to bring through a simple pair of shoes, a smile and an experience that made her feel loved and special.
It was at moment that I knew I needed to find a way to fill a simple need in a bigger way and to spread the word that we have kids all around us that are in need. There is ONE very important rule that guides us at Kozy Toez. Each child has to have a ONE-on-ONE experience. When I do a shoe drop, every single pair of shoes must be placed on a child’s feet to ensure that they fit, though If I’m being totally honest, my rule is not for fitting, but rather in hope that for ONE moment as you are on your knees with dirty feet in your hand, that you get to see the smile of a grateful child and that in that moment, you will be touched and impacted for life to do and give more with that which you already have: time, love, and resources.
To date, I have been given the opportunity to give shoes away to three schools in Corona, five schools in Orange County, the Speech and Language School for Disable Children and Adults (one of my favorite), two non-profit preschools and three shelters for families in transition. Every single pair of shoes up to this point have been personally purchased by me using donations from friends, local businesses and recently a local non-profit in Orange County, all of whom have greatly contributed to putting smiles on the faces of children. A smile because ONE person gave him/her ONE pair of shoes.
If you would like to attend a shoe drop, or if you would like to donate a new pair of shoes or socks please contact me. If you have a generous heart and a fat wallet, you really need to contact me. I will be expecting more than one pair of shoes from you!
ONE sponsorship for $15 provides ONE child ONE pair of shoes, socks and a Kozy Toez knapsack. 100% of your donation goes to purchase the shoes for that ONE child who is in need of ONE thing every child should receive… A new pair of shoes, given in love.
Amber Moore: 951-283-5429
It all began with ONE.
ONE teacher in conversation sharing with me an unfortunate story about a student who had shoes that did not fit, shoes that were so small that he would take them off during class even though the smell prompted teasing and ugly comments from fellow classmates. When I realized she was speaking about a boy that lived in my very own city (Corona at that time) my mind began to race and the frustration grew. I asked for the boy's size and offered to bring him a new pair of shoes. That's when I was told that there wasn't just ONE but dozens. Anger is usually an initial motivator for me and I was becoming angry that there were kids living in surrounding neighborhoods that were going without that which most of our children have more than enough of.
Next Kozy Toez Event:
YMCA Shoe Drop, Wed. 1/20/16 3:30pm