My dad shared this story with me [excerpts below, click link for the full story]
Share Your Soles founder loses ‘everything’ in Worth blaze
The woman who has delivered 1.5 million pairs of shoes to needy people in distressed areas around the world found herself without so much as a pair of slippers Monday night after a fire destroyed her Worth apartment.
“I’m usually the one helping people in situations like this,” she said. “Now I know what that feels like.”
Since 1999, the mother of three has been collecting and distributing new and gently used shoes to needy people around the world. She recently returned from Mexico and had plans to accompany deliveries to Haiti and Uganda in the coming months.
Purdy also is a runner who ran in her first Bank of America Chicago Marathon last fall to raise money for her Alsip-based charity, Share Your Soles. She already is registering runners to participate in this year’s race on behalf of the nonprofit.
Purdy said she did not lose any of the records associated with Share Your Soles, but she lost nearly all of her personal belongings, including her wallet, clothes, furniture and the newly written book she was editing on her laptop.
She also lost two pairs of newly purchased running shoes.
“I was telling friends that I have looked into the faces of people who have nothing; I know that look,” she said. “And now I am one of those people.”
Want to help? Checks can be made out to Mona Purdy and sent to Share Your Soles, 5623 W. 115th St., Alsip, IL 60803. For more information, call (708) 448-4469.