Deadline nears for Movement shoe drive: How you can help
Movement Mortgage employees have raised enough money for more than 2,100 shoes and socks for children in need as part of an ongoing ambitious campaign.
And there's still time to donate.
Seeking to make a sizable impact in the communities where it exists, Movement has partnered with Samaritan's Feet, a nonprofit that provides shoes for children living in poverty, to distribute life, light and hope to thousands of children across the United States.
The aim: Raise $300,000, which is enough to purchase 15,000 pairs of shoes.
And while she admits it's an "audacious goal," Movement Thrive Director Aimee Dodson says a single $20 donation from an employee will buy one pair of shoes for a child and cover associated shipping and distribution costs. Thrive helps promote and maintain Movement's culture through initiatives and projects designed to spur employee engagement.
"Providing 15,000 shoes, if we can reach that goal, is really a drop in the bucket," Dodson says. "But it can make a huge difference to those 15,000 lives."
The nonprofit Movement Foundation will match all employee donations but organizers stress that contributions from neighbors, friends and family are welcome.
This latest initiative rallies all of Movement — its market leaders, branch managers and employees in operations centers — around a common goal.
Movement's leaders first heard about the shoe drive in March, when Samaritan's Feet founder Manny Ohonme delivered a keynote address during the company's vision conference.
A few weeks later, Dodson surveyed market leaders to gauge how many were willing to raise at least $10,000 to purchase 500 pairs of shoes. Seventeen said they would.
That includes Movement team members at the Baltimore branch, where manager Heidi Gage has busied herself with soliciting contributions from real estate partners, friends and church members.
"It seems insurmountable. My knee-jerk reaction was that we can't do this but something kept compelling me to come back," Gage says. "I love this idea. I just keep praying everyday."
The drive, she says, is critical for Baltimore, which last year saw destructive riots following the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. Add that to the city's 7 percent unemployment rate and mounting drug problem (it's been called the heroin capital of the U.S.), and the need to share hope becomes evident.
"We can go and spread the word that we care and that we want to give back and we want to help," Gage says.
Employees unable to give monetary donations can log their volunteer hours. The foundation will donate $20 for every employee volunteer hour logged. Volunteer hours can be tallied retroactive to April 1.
Once donations are collected and the shoes purchased, Samaritan's Feet will organize distribution events at schools in the cities where market leaders raised money.
Movement team members will have the chance to volunteer at the drives, where they will wash the feet of a child and give them their new shoes and socks before "sending them off with a word of encouragement and prayer," Dodson says.
In a letter to market leaders, Ohonme writes, “I am excited and can't wait to see each of you as leaders serving alongside (your) community partners and real estate agents to bless children in need in your community.”
The drive ends July 31.
How you can help:
Everyone can participate in the shoe drive. To donate, visit https://www.samaritansfeet.org/MovementDonate/.