Peace Coalition: Help put shoes on children’s feet

“Peace is not something you wish for; It’s something you make, Something you do, Something you are, And something you give away.”

— John Lennon

As part of the Peace Month Coalition, Annie’s Locker and the Shoe Labyrinth Project provide just such an opportunity for our community to create this deeper level of working for peace. Annie’s Locker kicked off the Annual Share a Pair fund drive in July in furtherance of its mission of “Inspiring and equipping people to lead healthier lives.”

Many children attend school in ill-fitting shoes making it impossible to participate in regular physical education activities. Share a Pair hopes to provide many of these Rockford area children with the means to participate, exercise and play. As part of this year’s Peace Month, Annie’s Locker, Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful, Our Savior’s Church, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Mount Olive Church, and GPS Church have collaborated to provide 1,200 pairs of shoes for needy children in the Rockford and Harlem Elementary Schools!

As a community-wide event, the impact we can make will be amazing. Recently, Annie’s Locker representatives met with qualifying students, measured their feet for shoe size, and in return, received warm smiles from grateful parents. This year’s Share a Pair drive hopes to donate 1,200 pairs to high-poverty elementary school children. This is more than double what was collected last year!

We need your help! Running Trees are in several locations, where you can pick up a specific child’s shoe size and donate the shoes for that particular student. Running Tree locations include Bischoff Dentistry, the Postal Shoppe, and FitnessWorks in Edgebrook Centre; PEAK Sports Club on Perryville; Runner’s Image and The Fit. As an added bonus Blaine’s Farm and Fleet has offered a 20 percent discount for these shoe purchases. Shoe or cash donations need to be received by Sept. 15. Cash donations (checks payable to Annie’s Locker) are also appreciated.

On Sunday, Sept. 21, as part of the International Day of Peace, a Shoe Labyrinth will be installed at the Ethnic Festival in downtown Rockford, and will be recreated on Friday, Sept. 26, at the Harlem High School campus. The newly collected gym shoes will line the path of the labyrinth and later be presented to each student in need.

A labyrinth is a single-path circular design, often on the ground that is symbolic of the journey of life. Unlike a maze of puzzling paths and decisions, a labyrinth provides one clear path that spirals into its center. It offers a place for mindful walking and focused meditation. Shoe Labyrinths are an appropriate example of all those related metaphors of “walking together in others’ shoes”, “partnering on life journeys together”, and “seeking peace on a shared path”. Other local labyrinths open to the public are outdoors at Womanspace, St. Chad Episcopal Church and Emmanuel Lutheran Church, and indoors at Emmanuel Episcopal Church.

As John Lennon so aptly said, “Teach peace through doing.” Annie’s Locker and the Shoe Labyrinth Project have provided us all with a wonderful example and opportunity to do just that!

Barrie Carter Gibby facilitates workshops and installs labyrinths across the U.S. and Canada, makes study pilgrimages to France, and is specially trained through Veriditas, the worldwide labyrinth initiative. Please call her to volunteer for the installation of either Shoe Labyrinth. (336-266-6626)

Terri Odell currently sits on Annie’s Locker Board as Vice President of Operations. She is a personal trainer and owner of Fitness Works at Edgebrook.

For more information about Share a Pair, please visit www.annieslocker.org or Annie’s Locker on Facebook.

For more Peace Month activities, go to www.connect2peace.org

Read more: http://www.rrstar.com/article/20140904/Opinion/140909725#ixzz3ETmEoB8P

2016-11-25T18:54:34+00:00 September 4th, 2014|Categories: News, Share A Pair|0 Comments

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