Hello and welcome!
So this is a new idea/venture for me. I'm not sure that it will work, or be well received, but it has been in my head, so I'm putting it out there. The universe can do with it what it will after that.
A little background...
My husband, Trevor, and I love to travel. We traveled to quite a few places in the world before having our two sons, and while we still travel with our boys in tow, we just don't go to quite as far away or crazy places. Our boys are good travelers, and we intend to keep them that way. I've always enjoyed getting to know the people we meet when we are traveling, their stories and customs, and tried to be kind. We often would leave behind extra items we didn't need, or would bring stuff with the intent of leaving it behind, like candy or school supplies. I even came home from a trip to Fiji, gathered up all the kids books I could find (didn't have kids at the time) and mailed them off to a small village for their school.
So, when Trevor and I took our boys to Jamaica in March 2012 I wanted to give back. We met two wonderful women working at the resort we stayed at, and in getting to know them I learned how little they make each day. I learned that they can often go weeks at a time without work because of the industry they are in, and how hotels and resorts rotate people on schedules. I became friends with these ladies, and I wanted to help them. With the limited resources I had with me, I made a decision to leave my sneakers there. I know, one pair, two women, right? But I hadn't packed two pairs of sneakers, so I did the best I could at the time.
Once we got home, I continued to think about those two ladies, and all the rest of the men and women they work with. All of them don't make a lot of money, yet all of them need shoes.
Now Soleful Suitcases comes along.
We are going back to Jamaica in Fall 2012 and I want this trip to make an impact. I want it to count for something. I want it to have meaning. I want to show my boys how one person can make the difference in the lives of many. I want to give. And I need your help to do so.
My goal is to bring 3 50-pound suitcases to the people of St. Ann's Bay and Browns town, Jamaica full of goodies.
Will you help me?
Suitcase One, the Soleful Suitcase, will contain:
-Athletic shoes in good, clean condition, adult sizes
-Two pairs of brand new socks for each pair of shoes
These will be handed out to the hotel and resort workers
Suitcase Two, the Soleful Schoolcase, will contain:
-School supplies like colored pencils, paper, notebooks
-Children's books of all different reading levels
This will be donated to the local elementary school in Brownstown
Suitcase Three, the Soleful Suitcase Jr., will contain:
-Athletic sneakers in good, clean condition, children's sizes
-Two pairs of socks for each pair of shoes
-Adult and children's Tylenol-like and/or over-the-counter medicines which are expensive in Jamaica
These will be handed out to children at the school or just locally
I am also hoping you can help me with:
-The donation of three large suitcases. These will be traveling to Jamaica loaded with all the goods for those in need.
-The collection of $75 (3 x $25 per bag) to pay for the suitcases to be checked to Jamaica. We will be taking them with us as our 'second checked bag' and will need to pay those fees. Any extra money collected will go to buying socks and school supplies.
We will be flying out of Kansas City. If you are local and would like to donate, great! If you live outside the metro area and would still like to help, you can mail me your donation. Just leave a comment or shoot me an email and I'll send you my address.
I am not a 501c3 charity organization, and as such your donation is not tax deductible. You would be giving out of the goodness of your heart. I am looking into making it a 501c3, but first I want to see if this idea will even pan out. I hope it does.