Re-Launching Give Your Sole

Events, Inspiration, Seattle

Re-Launching Give Your Sole

No Comments 09 May 2015

GYS logo final RnR_MarathonSeriesLogo_Horiz2

Dear Friends of Give Your Sole –

I have really missed you all. Thanks to all of you, we were able to accomplish so much in the first four years of the GYS launch.

In the last two years a lot has happened to cause my hiatus from GYS. A couple of full time jobs, families to care for and support, and moving from California to Washington put GYS on the backburner.

Today, I am happy to announce that we are going to take another run at it in a big way! We are blessed to continue our great relationship with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®. This has the potential of eventually putting us in 26 cities across the country throughout the year starting with Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle in June!

We have also advanced our conversations with the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM). Our aim is for AGRM to be the primary beneficiary of the shoes we collect at each Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series race. This ensures the people who need them most get a pair….or two.

There are several other exciting opportunities on the horizon which I will share when I am able. This gives us hope and confidence that the dream you helped birth can and will become a reality.

Our love for helping those in need has remained deep in our hearts. Together, we can help those less fortunate across the United States.

Let’s run these streets and change lives together!

All things good,


Founder of Give Your Sole

Redeeming Seattle

Events, Rescue Missions, Seattle, Seattle

Redeeming Seattle

No Comments 29 June 2011

Great picture of the Frogboxes donated to collect shoes in.

Seattle continues to be a city filled with incredible people doing incredible things for others. Last year at the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon we had an amazing time and were able to collect shoes for the Rescue Mission in downtown Seattle.  Not only were we able to capture some great video but upon handing out the shoes we collected at the rescue mission I met a certain individual who I now consider a friend.  That friend is Scott Sowle.

Scott lived on the streets for many years battling his addiction to drugs and alcohol until he found his way to the Seattle Union Gospel Mission. It is there that he changed his life and now makes it his life’s goal to help others. Last year as we were handing out the shoes from the race to people on the street, Scott approached me and shared with me that he wanted to start his own shoe collection center for the Puget Sound area. He asked if he could call me and discuss it further. Of course I said he could reach out to me anytime, all the while thinking I might never hear from him again since he lived at the shelter.  I’m excited to share with you that at this years event we teamed up with Scott’s new organization, Redeeming Soles, as the recipient of all the shoes we collected.  Scott has done amazing things since we last met in building Redeeming Soles and is making an incredible difference in Washington. He provides shoes to numerous shelters, abuse centers and kids facilities facing poverty in the Puget Sound area. Scott is known to many on the streets as the “shoe guy” or “Scooter”. To me he is an inspiration. Not only is Scott Redeeming Soles but he is Redeeming Seattle and really making a difference in the lives he touches. I know he did mine.

Thank you Scott.

From left to Right: Jeff Hill from Frogbox who donated the collection bins, Jo Anne Drewry from Redeeming Soles and Scott Sowle Founder of Redeeming Soles

Give Your Sole + Union Gospel Mission

Rescue Missions, Seattle, video

Give Your Sole + Union Gospel Mission

No Comments 25 September 2010

Events, Rescue Missions, Seattle, Seattle

Follow the Signs

2 Comments 02 July 2010

Under this sign everyone has shoes.

Under this sign people need shoes

What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like. – Saint Augustine

Last week took us to Seattle for the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon & 1/2 Marathon.  Seattle is a city I have a love for because of my wife calling it home. Many friends and family remain in the rainy city.  I had been looking forward to attending this event ever since we missed it’s inaugural race last year.

To begin with, I had an amazing group of friends who I met all on Twitter that were helping me promote we would be in Seattle.  My friend Ryan Hodgson from Team Up for Non-Profits introduced me to Debbie Whitlock who hosts a radio show in Seattle. Not only was Debbie kind enough to volunteer her time to work our booth but she also had me on her radio show. (listen here) Thanks again Debbie!  The stage was set and we were ready to collect shoes on behalf of the Seattle Union Gospel Mission.

Look for this sign at your next race

Every event I can’t help but want to collect as many shoes possible.  This event was no different. The first day at the expo started out pretty slow until 6:30 pm when I got a call from a donor asking if I could meet her curbside to unload some shoes. As I approached her tailgate I was shocked! She had collected 6 HUGE garbage bags of shoes on her own. After hauling them inside I was off to an event hoping to network with people who I thought might be able to further our cause. I met some incredible people and made some great friends who I think will help us down the road. Only time will tell and that’s for another post.

After two days of collecting at the expo it was race day. I always enjoy race day because there is something breathtaking about people donating their shoes while facing sheer exhaustion. Even though their body is in turmoil their spirit still wants to give more and that is remarkable to me.

Race donor expressing her joy for giving

Luckily the Seattle rain never made an appearance and we were able to collect shoes from a great number of runners. By days end we had 452 pairs for those in need on the streets of Seattle. After we finished for the day, the shelter did their daily pickup onsite and took the shoes. By Monday they would be on the feet of people who needed them. Little did I know the first pair to be handed out would be to a woman who was in desperate need of shoes.

Feet of woman needing shoes

I showed up at the shelter Monday morning to get some film footage for our site and to interview a few people on the street about what it means to have a pair of shoes. Even though it was the mens shelter, this woman appeared in hopes of getting in for food. Little did she know a pair of shoes is what she would also receive. This picture doesn’t even begin to tell the story of what her feet looked like. They were swollen and cracked beyond anything imaginable. I went to the basement of the shelter where all the donated items were stored and started tearing open bags of shoes until I found 3 pairs that I thought might fit her. Most times people have forgotten their size, either because they have been wearing the wrong size to just make do or they have not had the money to buy an adequate pair. Lucky for her, the first pair she tried, fit.

If the shoe fits, it's yours!

As I look back on our transaction I remember she had a mask on for allergy reasons or health reasons of some other kind and we never exchanged names. I guess it really wasn’t necessary. All I could see was her eyes and as I looked up from her foot as it slid into her new shoe I could tell from the lines around her eyes a smile was under her mask. “Thank you sir” was all that was said and we parted ways.

There are many signs we come across in our daily lives. Sometimes if we follow them we stay out of harms way and if we don’t, bad things happen. I’m not sure what signs those on the street might have seen and not followed and to be honest it’s not for me to say they should have. All I know is, the sign I’ve read says for us to love our neighbor. That’s definitely one I think if we all followed more often would change the world. After all, you can’t look at this smile and tell me different.

Man on the street expressing his joy of receiving

Shoeless in Seattle

Events, Rescue Missions, Seattle, Seattle

Shoeless in Seattle

1 Comment 22 June 2010

Seattle Union Gospel Mission

We are extremely excited to be heading to Seattle this week not only to be a part of another great Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon presented by Competitor Group but to also work with the Seattle Union Gospel Mission as the recipient of all the shoes we collect over three days of being in town.  The Mission is the only shelter in King County that offers 3 meals a day, 7 days a week and averages 1200 meals a day.  The statistics for King County are alarming:

Homelessness in King County…

  • Over 8,961 people are homeless on any given night in King County
  • Children under the age of 18 make up 33 percent of the shelter and transitional housing population
  • Over 21 percent of the homeless population have experienced domestic violence
  • 18 percent of people living in shelters and transitional programs in King County are employed
  • 48 percent of the shelter population has been homeless one year or longer
  • 30 percent of homeless people sleeping outside spend the night in their cars.
  • In Seattle, the cost of supportive housing was estimated at $26 per person per day, in contrast with $87.67 for a day in jail, $555 for mental hospitals and $2,184 for hospitals

It is obvious there is a need for helping those on the streets of Seattle and the surrounding areas.  We know from talking with our contacts at the shelter that shoes will get used. Everyone knows that Seattle is damp and wet place to live; let alone having to do it on the streets…bare foot.  Spring rain brings beautiful flowers but for those living on the street it means wet, sore and badly blistered feet.  Brian, one of the men who frequents the shelter for meals, was heard saying, “Our feet get really chewed up”.

Man on streets of Seattle without shoes

We have an incredible opportunity this week to really make a difference and work to provide 8900 people on the streets with moderately worn shoes. We will be collecting shoes at the Health and Fitness Expo taking place at Qwest Event Center Thursday June 24th 11am-7pm and Friday 25th 10am-7pm.  We ask that you wash your shoes prior to donating them if possible, but not required.  We will accept all moderately worn men, women and children’s shoes.

Join us in making sure that every person in our country has a pair of shoes.  While housing continues to be the main issue when it comes to homelessness, so is helping people get back on their feet.  In order to do so, we must work together to give them something to stand in.


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