Jeffrey Starr, GoLocalWorcester Contributor
The Women’s Initiative of the United Way of Central Massachusetts is collaborating with the Greendale DSW Store to host a shoe event on March 13. Women attending the event should bring a gently-used pair or pairs of shoes for donation and can leave with a brand new pair of shoes or accessory for their wardrobe. Discounts to all participants will be provided by DSW on the night of the event. The event will last 4:30-6:30 pm.
The gently-used shoes will be donated to the local Feet Need Shoes Campaign and sent to Soles4Souls, a nonprofit organization that provides new shoes and A grade used shoes to people in need in over 128 countries. The Women’s Initiative will work in conjunction with the local Feet Need Shoes Campaign and UPS stores, who will be responsible for collecting and transporting all donated shoes.
“The mission of the Women’s Initiative is to promote women’s leadership and philanthropy to create positive and measurable change for women and children,” says Anne Wettengel, Program Director of the Women’s Initiative.
“This shoe event gives us the opportunity to get the word out that the Women’s Initiative continues to address challenges facing adolescent girls and is dedicated to building a support structure around girls in our community.”
Though this is their first event of this exact kind, the Women’s Initiative started more than 10 years ago, and ever since their branding was built around shoes.
“The concept was to encourage women in the community to “Step Up” and support the cause to help adolescent girls,” says Wettengel.
For instance, in addition to this new event, every September, the Women’s Initiative hosts a Stepping Up for Girls event in September where more than 450 women join for the night to pledge their support.
“We continue to use the ‘Shoe’ theme in a variety of ways including through auctions, decorations, planters, on invitations and just this year, in favors with homemade chocolate shoes. This theme and event is such a success, that members have asked us to carry it into other aspects of our event planning. This event is a fun, creative way to thank our members for their continued support and because we are a women’s philanthropy group what better way to tie in our shoe theme and collaborate with another nonprofit organization to help people in need,” Wettengel says.
United Way of Central Massachusetts connects people and resources to improve the community by focusing on the building blocks for a good life: education, family stability, and health.
For more information on this and other Women’s Initiative and United Way of Central Massachusetts event please visit their website.