I am delighted to say that it has been a real experience, a real journey watching God work through so many people whose hearts have been touched to bless others. And, somehow, I know that the best is yet to come. God is awesome in all His ways.
The first to buy into the vision of sending 500 pairs of new sneakers to Haiti was my sister Shirl Hughes. I was planning on purchasing one pair of sneakers at a time as funds became available and as I found great discounts, coupons etc. On August 2, 2013, while at our local mall, Shirl said “ Let’s go to Penney’s shoe department” and there we found a major sale going on, plus she had her birthday coupons that they had sent. She and I each purchased five pairs of sneakers. We were both so excited over our good fortune. And so, the mission began in earnest. My sister Gloria soon followed suit, as well as my friend Venita and the rest is history. As others heard the vision, they too wanted to find ways to help meet the need and deliver love to the people of Haiti that I had just visited. Praise God as He is doing more than I could have ever dreamed.
This is an email that I received from my friend Linda Jolly on September 19, 2013 after she and some friends took a trip to New York City and she casually mentioned that I was collecting sneakers to send to Haiti:
I told Mary Albert first about your Sneakers for Haiti Mission in late August. Mary later told our mutual friend, Nancy Stout. Mary and Nancy made a shopping adventure out of it using coupons and sales to get the most for their money to purchase 12 pairs of sneakers, 6 pairs each. Mary told me when we met at another time that she had made an announcement about the Sneakers for Haiti in her church. She is collecting sneaker donations in a basket she placed in the church lobby. She will leave it there until the end of October.
Three pairs of sneakers appeared in the church basket upon placement in September. Mary, Nancy and I are retired colleagues from Parkway School in Ewing. These "Ewing sneakers" are a result of casual conversation among Christ-minded friends. (The total Linda and her friends delivered was 26 pairs of new sneakers and shoes)