Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Shoe Delivery!

On July 16, 2013 we were able to share 65 pairs of shoes with the staff at our resort in Jamaica. I can't begin to tell you how fun this was. Trevor told 2 people, I told 2 people, and 30 minutes later all the shoes were gone. Folks from maintenance, laundry, house keeping, nanny/childcare services, bar & waiter staff, and baggage services all got shoes. It was so rewarding to see smiles and thanks from so many different people.

But what made it even better was the next day to see the improvement in footwear. And the small 'thanks' and smiles/winks we received. Trevor and I are so thankful and blessed to be able to share your shoes and your love to this little slice of the world.


65 pairs of shoes in our room, separated by sex.









                                                                           


 
 All of these people, and more, were so thankful for your shoes. So many smiles at one time!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Shoes and Socks Update & A Break Down of the Numbers

I've started to organize the shoes and socks today. This means sorting them out and matching them up, sorting by sex, and marking each one with a card that says sex and size for easy distribution once in Jamaica. I'm also going through and setting aside a few of the pairs that have been worn more than others. With limited space, I try and take the best pairs first, and then when extra space allows I fill in the gaps with the more worn shoes.

With that said, here is a break down of some of the numbers.

Current shoes collected as of Thursday, July 4, 2013.
46 Women's and 23 Men's shoes.
28 Women's and 16 Men's socks.

There was $81 donated to the www.gofundme.com/solefulsuitcases account specifically mentioned for sock use. With that money I ordered 30 pairs of men's socks and 50 pairs of women's socks from Amazon. With tax, the amount spent was $81.75. Set arrival date is Tuesday, July 9.

Adding those socks on order to the current totals leave us short by 14 pairs of women's socks.

Also received at the GoFundMe page was $80 to cover the cost of children's books purchased at a local thrift store.

$75 was set aside for baggage fees.

$80 was donated for general use. I think that will end up going towards baggage fees as those will cost $330 and only $115 was donated, leaving that $215 short. If I use the $80 here, I'm only short $135 for baggage fees.

We are also in need of suitcases. We received a couple, but still need at least 3 large suitcases. If I don't get those donated in the next day or two, I will be heading to my local thrift store to see if they have anything large enough. Suitcases run $15-20. If you don't have a suitcase to donate, would you be willing to cover the cost to buy one?

Thanks to each of you for your support on this trip. My family and I are excited to head out in the next couple of weeks and share your shoes and your love to our world. We are proud and blessed to be able to be the givers of your gifts.                                                                                                                                 





Share your shoes, share your love, share your world. 

If you'd like to donate to Soleful Suitcases and our upcoming trip in July 2013, there are several ways to help. You can donate your in-good-shape, still life left, adult athletic shoes. You can donate brand new adult socks. School supplies are always welcome. Shop on Amazon via the link on the right hand size so we get credit to help pay for baggage fees. Or donate to our GoFundMe site at www.gofundme.com/solefulsuitcases
www.facebook.com/solefulsuitcases   twitter @RunningWithHart
Melissa Hart  119 N. Parker St. #143 Olathe, KS 66061



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Thank you Cheryl and KC Express!

Since Saturday, donations have really come 'running' in! Last night I was at the monthly meeting for KC Express and receive 16 pairs of shoes and 26 pairs of socks. Thank you to everyone who brought stuff.


A few days prior to that, Cheryl left 3 pairs of shoes and several school books on my porch.


Saturday brought socks from Tracey and shoes from Lori.
 









I feel so blessed to have friends who are willing to help out and make this donation trip a possibility. Thank you!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Care to sponsor a bag?

Bag 4 - $35 SPONSORED By Diane Douglass
Bag 5 - $35
Bag 6 - $35
Bag 7 - $75 SPONSORED By Bill Hart!!
Bag 8 - $75
Bag 9 - $75


Total shoe count: 73 (30m, 43w)
For those keeping track, our current total sock need is as follows:
60 pairs of men's socks, 16 pairs received
86 pairs of women's socks, 28 pairs received

Share your shoes, share your love, share your world. 

If you'd like to donate to Soleful Suitcases and our upcoming trip in July 2013, there are several ways to help. You can donate your in-good-shape, still life left, adult athletic shoes. You can donate brand new adult socks. School supplies are always welcome. Shop on Amazon via the link on the right hand size so we get credit to help pay for baggage fees. Or donate to our GoFundMe site at www.gofundme.com/solefulsuitcases
www.facebook.com/solefulsuitcases   twitter @RunningWithHart
Melissa Hart  119 N. Parker St. #143 Olathe, KS 66061

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Thank you Gwen and Patti!

Yesterday at my long run group with KC Express, Gwen and Patti were kind enough to donate some items to take.
Gwen gave 3 pairs of shoes, 6 pairs of women's socks, and a rolling suitcase! Thank you Gwen!




Patti gave 3 pairs of shoes and 6 pairs of women's socks! Thank you Patti!




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Care to sponsor a bag?

Bag 4 - $35 SPONSORED By Diane Douglass
Bag 5 - $35
Bag 6 - $35
Bag 7 - $75 SPONSORED By Bill Hart!!
Bag 8 - $75
Bag 9 - $75


Total shoe count: 51 (21m, 30w)
For those keeping track, our current total sock need is as follows:
 
42 pairs of men's socks, 0 pairs received
60 pairs of women's socks, 12 pairs received
 
 

Share your shoes, share your love, share your world. 

If you'd like to donate to Soleful Suitcases and our upcoming trip in July 2013, there are several ways to help. You can donate your in-good-shape, still life left, adult athletic shoes. You can donate brand new adult socks. School supplies are always welcome. Shop on Amazon via the link on the right hand size so we get credit to help pay for baggage fees. Or donate to our GoFundMe site at www.gofundme.com/solefulsuitcases
www.facebook.com/solefulsuitcases   twitter @RunningWithHart
Melissa Hart  119 N. Parker St. #143 Olathe, KS 66061

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Thank you Kelly, Katrina, Gabrielle, and Diane!

I've been out of town for the past week visiting my family, so I have a few Thank Yous to catch up on.

Thank you Kelly Pfannenstiel for the 3 pairs of women's shoes. On our last trip the Pfannenstiel family donated 10+ pairs of shoes, and we're so thankful they run enough to donate more. Thank you!



Thank you Katrina Jones for the 2 pairs of women's shoes. I met Katrina through KC Express. She and her husband Gary are always fun to run with. Thank you!

 
Thank you Gabrielle Hernandez for the $65 donation for socks. I'll be sock shopping this week, so thank you for filling that need!

Thank you Diane Douglass for the $40 donation for baggage fees. This will sponsor a suitcase filled with love and shoes. Thank you so much!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Care to sponsor a bag?

Bag 4 - $35 SPONSORED By Diane Douglass
Bag 5 - $35
Bag 6 - $35
Bag 7 - $75 SPONSORED By Bill Hart!!
Bag 8 - $75
Bag 9 - $75


Total shoe count: 45 (21m, 24w)
For those keeping track, our current total sock need is as follows:
 
42 pairs of men's socks
48 pairs of women's socks
 
 

Share your shoes, share your love, share your world. 

If you'd like to donate to Soleful Suitcases and our upcoming trip in July 2013, there are several ways to help. You can donate your in-good-shape, still life left, adult athletic shoes. You can donate brand new adult socks. School supplies are always welcome. Shop on Amazon via the link on the right hand size so we get credit to help pay for baggage fees. Or donate to our GoFundMe site at www.gofundme.com/solefulsuitcases
www.facebook.com/solefulsuitcases   twitter @RunningWithHart
Melissa Hart  119 N. Parker St. #143 Olathe, KS 66061

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Thank You Jenny! We've Reached 40 Pairs!

Thank you Jenny Berry for your donation of 7! SEVEN! pairs of shoes! This brings the total collected to 40 pairs! Yahoo!!!




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Care to sponsor a bag?

Bag 4 - $35
Bag 5 - $35
Bag 6 - $35
Bag 7 - $75 SPONSORED By Bill Hart!!
Bag 8 - $75
Bag 9 - $75


Total shoe count: 40 (21m, 19w)
For those keeping track, our current total sock need is as follows:
 
42 pairs of men's socks
38 pair's of women's socks
 
 

Share your shoes, share your love, share your world. 

If you'd like to donate to Soleful Suitcases and our upcoming trip in July 2013, there are several ways to help. You can donate your in-good-shape, still life left, adult athletic shoes. You can donate brand new adult socks. School supplies are always welcome. Shop on Amazon via the link on the right hand size so we get credit to help pay for baggage fees. Or donate to our GoFundMe site at www.gofundme.com/solefulsuitcases
www.facebook.com/solefulsuitcases   twitter @RunningWithHart
Melissa Hart  119 N. Parker St. #143 Olathe, KS 66061

Friday, June 7, 2013

Thank You Emily!

Thank you Emily for the pair of shoes!

Emily is a member of my MOMS Club, and I'm thankful that she donated a pair of shoes. Yahoo!




Total shoe count: 33 (19m, 14w)
For those keeping track, our current total sock need is as follows:

 
 
38 pairs of men's socks
28 pair's of women's socks
 
 

Share your shoes, share your love, share your world. 

If you'd like to donate to Soleful Suitcases and our upcoming trip in July 2013, there are several ways to help. You can donate your in-good-shape, still life left, adult athletic shoes. You can donate brand new adult socks. School supplies are always welcome. Shop on Amazon via the link on the right hand size so we get credit to help pay for baggage fees. Or donate to our GoFundMe site at www.gofundme.com/solefulsuitcases
www.facebook.com/solefulsuitcases   twitter @RunningWithHart
Melissa Hart  119 N. Parker St. #143 Olathe, KS 66061

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thank you William Hart!

Thank you William Hart for your generous donation of baggage fees! An entire suitcase of shoes and socks will be headed to Jamaica because you helped out! Thank you!

This trip we are hoping to take 6 suitcases filled with love to Jamaica. We are flying Air Tran, and their baggage fees are not cheap. We will be traveling with 9 checked bags total and the breakdown looks like this.

Bags 1-3 $25 each. These will be filled with our personal items, and then stuffed with extra bits if we have room.
Bags 4-6 $35 each. These will be filled with love to give out to the workers and school.
Bags 6-9 $75 each. These will also be filled with love to share.

Care to sponsor a bag?

Bag 4 - $35
Bag 5 - $35
Bag 6 - $35
Bag 7 - $75 SPONSORED By Bill Hart!!
Bag 8 - $75
Bag 9 - $75

Total shoe count: 32 (19m, 13w)
For those keeping track, our current total sock need is as follows:
 
 
38 pairs of men's socks
26 pair's of women's socks
 
 

Share your shoes, share your love, share your world. 

If you'd like to donate to Soleful Suitcases and our upcoming trip in July 2013, there are several ways to help. You can donate your in-good-shape, still life left, adult athletic shoes. You can donate brand new adult socks. School supplies are always welcome. Shop on Amazon via the link on the right hand size so we get credit to help pay for baggage fees. Or donate to our GoFundMe site at www.gofundme.com/solefulsuitcases
www.facebook.com/solefulsuitcases   twitter @RunningWithHart
Melissa Hart  119 N. Parker St. #143 Olathe, KS 66061

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Thank You Half Fanatics!

Thank you Half Fanatics!

If you're not a runner, you may be wondering just who the Half Fanatics are. They are a group of runners who like to run the Half Marathon distance, and have joined a national club of like-minded people. There is a facebook group to support them, and I got on it a few days ago to talk about an upcoming race. (Yes, I'm a Half Fanatic too, #4222 Yahoo!) I mentioned that I was going to Jamaica, collecting shoes, etc. Well, wouldn't you know, I open my mouth and people help! I received 4 pairs of shoes and $50 from people in the group. Thank you David and Karen!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Thank you Alisa!!

Thank you Alisa! The title says it all. I put out a call a yesterday to get the funds donated to purchase 145 books at $0.55 each from a local thrift store. They were in excellent shape, and Disney, so very kid friendly. Alisa responded with a donation to be able to purchase them all!


Alisa also helped out on our first trip. I put it out there that Servite Primary was looking for a video projector, but thought that request was just too big and expensive to fill. Alisa heard the request, went to her office, and got a no-longer-used projector donate.

Thank you so much Alisa. Servite Primary owes you a giant hug.

Share your shoes, share your love, share your world. 

If you'd like to donate to Soleful Suitcases and our upcoming trip in July 2013, there are several ways to help. You can donate your in-good-shape, still life left, adult athletic shoes. You can donate brand new adult socks. School supplies are always welcome. Shop on Amazon via the link on the right hand size so we get credit to help pay for baggage fees. Or donate to our GoFundMe site at www.gofundme.com/solefulsuitcases
www.facebook.com/solefulsuitcases   twitter @RunningWithHart

Melissa Hart  119 N. Parker St. #143 Olathe, KS 66061

Monday, May 20, 2013

Thanks Haley!

Thanks Haley!

I went over to Haley's house today to pick up some non-Soleful Suitcase stuff, and she had a pair of shoes and some school folders waiting for me. That was a fun surprise.

Then I come home and start to work on the computer. I checked with the GoFundMe site that we use, and surprise! there was a $10 donation from Haley from a few days ago. Wow. Double bonus day!

So thanks Haley! Your continued support from the last trip to this one is so great. Thank you!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Aaaannnnnddd back to the regularly scheduled shoes posts

I've got a couple thanks to give out...

Penny from KC Express donated a pair of shoes - thanks Penny!

"Daisy" from KC Express donated 3 pairs of shoes - thanks "Daisy"

Paula, from San Francisco, mailed a box with a pair of shoes and some ink pens. Thanks Paula! That was a fun surprise to get at the mail box.


 
We are less than 60 days out from the trip!

I am starting to get that desperate feeling. I'm hoping to bring 75 pairs of shoes, stuffed into 6 suitcases, with 150 pairs of socks and a lot of school supplies. So far, the shoe count is short. By a lot. And I'm short on socks too. Nicol donated enough cash to buy 12 pairs of socks, but that isn't close to the 44 we currently can match up with shoes.

Total shoe count: 27 (17m, 10w)
For those keeping track, our current total sock need is as follows:
 
24 pairs of men's socks
20 pair's of women's socks
 
People, I *need* your help!
 
In order to make this work, I still need shoes, socks, a few more suitcases, and lots of school supplies. I can get nice, hardback children's books from our local thrift store for $0.55 cents a piece, and would love to have someone sponsor some of those. I need some help with the baggage fees as those will run over $300. Can you help? Do you know a business, big or small, that would be willing to sponsor a suitcase or two either with the baggage fees, or filling it up, or both? Do you have an inside connection with a sock company that would love to donate some? Please, please, please!
 
 
Share your shoes, share your love, share your world. 

If you'd like to donate to Soleful Suitcases and our upcoming trip in July 2013, there are several ways to help. You can donate your in-good-shape, still life left, adult athletic shoes. You can donate brand new adult socks. School supplies are always welcome. Shop on Amazon via the link on the right hand size so we get credit to help pay for baggage fees. Or donate to our GoFundMe site at www.gofundme.com/solefulsuitcases
www.facebook.com/solefulsuitcases   twitter @RunningWithHart

Melissa Hart  119 N. Parker St. #143 Olathe, KS 66061
 
 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Lego Fish Bowl

Ok, this has nothing to do with Soleful Suitcases, but it is fun and I wanted to put it up here. My oldest son loves Lego, and yesterday we finished up a project I'd been thinking about for a couple weeks. It turned out pretty great I think.

 
The whole bowl
 
 

                                         An upclose view                        A view from the top


I used a fish bowl, just the plain clear glass goldfish kind. I created a base for the inside using clear 1x2 bricks and 1x2 clear plates to make it sturdy. Then I added the fish (a creator set), the shark (made from LEGOLAND in Kansas City or use this one), and the turtle (made at a mini monthly build). The 'gravel' on the bottom is just little pieces that we grabbed from the Pick-A-Brick wall at our local Lego store.

My son loves it. It is in his room, and he likes having a 'pet' all his own in his room. My youngest boy loves it because he thinks they are real fish, and can stare at them for a while before getting bored. It is a win-win.



If you'd like to see more Lego stuff, head over to my facebook page, Moms of Lego. You'll find event postings, cartoon listings, great deals from Amazon and Lego.com, and more.

And if you're new to Soleful Suitcases and you ended up here randomly, please feel free to poke around. My kids like Lego, and I am happy to support them with it. Another thing we as a family all like is to travel. So, like anything they do, I'm trying to teach my kids that traveling doesn't just have to be about them. It is okay to give back to the local population too, and our Soleful Suitcases project is just that; giving back to the local population one pair of shoes at a time.

Share your shoes, share your love, share your world. 

If you'd like to donate to Soleful Suitcases and our upcoming trip in July 2013, there are several ways to help. You can donate your in-good-shape, still life left, adult athletic shoes. You can donate brand new adult socks. School supplies are always welcome. Shop on Amazon via the link on the right hand size so we get credit to help pay for baggage fees. Or donate to our GoFundMe site at www.gofundme.com/solefulsuitcases

www.facebook.com/solefulsuitcases   twitter @RunningWithHart
Melissa Hart  119 N. Parker St. #143 Olathe, KS 66061

Monday, April 29, 2013

First Donation via GoFundMe!!

Yahoo!!

We received our first donation from Nicol W. from our GoFundMe site. (I was beginning to wonder if it was turned on.)

Today Nicole donated $16, which I will use to purchase 2 packages of 6 adult socks. Doesn't seem like much, right? It is huge. This means that 6 adults will receive the gift of 2 pairs of brand new, clean socks to go along with a pair of shoes.

Our trip is coming up, and we still need so much to be able to meet the goals we've set. Can you help, like Nicole did? Visit our site, www.gofundme.com/solefulsuitcases, make a few clicks to donate, and follow along here on the blog as we make our trip preparations, head out, and then watch the smiles fly on give-away day.

Thank you Nicole. Thank you so much!

Share your shoes, share your love, share your world. 

If you'd like to donate to Soleful Suitcases and our upcoming trip in July 2013, there are several ways to help. You can donate your in-good-shape, still life left, adult athletic shoes. You can donate brand new adult socks. School supplies are always welcome. Shop on Amazon via the link on the right hand size so we get credit to help pay for baggage fees. Or donate to our GoFundMe site at www.gofundme.com/solefulsuitcases
www.facebook.com/solefulsuitcases   twitter @RunningWithHart
Melissa Hart  119 N. Parker St. #143 Olathe, KS 66061

Monday, April 22, 2013

80 days out & we still need lots

This trip is sneaking right up as we are just about 80 days out. That may sound like a lot to some of you, but to me, I'm looking at a lot of work still to get there. We are still in need of a lot of stuff, and hoping that perhaps you can help out.

Right now we have 22 pairs of shoes, and need 53 more to reach the goal of 75 pairs.
We need socks. We don't have any adult right now, and need both men's and women's to hand out with the shoes.
We need school supplies. We have some, but can always use more. Servite Primary serves 700+ children, who often come to school with little to none of their own supplies like pencils, notebooks, or crayons. These children are in desperate need of basic supplies.
We have been given 2 laptops to take to the school for the staff to use, but we need some USB thumb drives. These drives allow the teachers to make lesson plans and save them when they don't have access to the computer.
We need books for the school library. It is pretty easy to shop Goodwill and find books in great shape that can be taken. Do the shopping yourself, or donate a few bucks and I'll do the shopping for you. 700+ kids need lots of books to read. Can you imagine going to a school without library books?
Do you have an older, but still working digital camera laying around? This school could use it for special projects, and would be an amazing treat. Cords, cables, and software would be a plus. Does not need to be fancy, just a point and shoot would do wonders.
We need suitcases. They need to be in good enough shape to go on a one-way trip from Kansas City to Jamaica. Would prefer them to have wheels and handles. I can find these at Goodwill as well, and they run around $15. Donate the money to buy one?
Baggage fees. This is huge. Like so huge. And expensive. It is vital that we have people help us get some baggage sponsored. Can you help with this, or know someone or a business that would? This is so costly, yet still cheaper than shipping.


Today marks one week since the bombings at the Boston Marathon. Honor Boston and donate your old athletic shoes, buy a pair of socks in one of the victim's name, or donate some crayons in honor or Martin.


Share your shoes, share your love, share your world. 

If you'd like to donate to Soleful Suitcases and our upcoming trip in July 2013, there are several ways to help. You can donate your in-good-shape, still life left, adult athletic shoes. You can donate brand new adult socks. School supplies are always welcome. Shop on Amazon via the link on the right hand size so we get credit to help pay for baggage fees. Or donate to our GoFundMe site at www.gofundme.com/solefulsuitcases
www.facebook.com/solefulsuitcases   twitter @RunningWithHart
Melissa Hart  119 N. Parker St. #143 Olathe, KS 66061

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Busy Couple of Days

It has been a busy couple of days for me with Soleful Suitcases. With the events at Boston just a couple days ago, there has been a lot of new friends visiting this little blog. I'm excited to know that so many more people are learning about this little project, and how much it impacts those on the receiving end in such a big way.

Dimity McDowell from the book Run Like A Mother made a post on her blog Another Mother Runner, "10 Ways to Support Boston". Under number 4 is 

"Commit 26.2 acts of kindness in the running community - or world... 
donate your old kicks to a charity like Soleful Suitcases..."

Um, wow. Did Dimity McDowell just write about Soleful Suitcases? I'm kind of speechless.  And pumped. The more people know about this, the more good we can all do.

And just a little blip for all you friends new to Soleful Suitcases - the basics are this. My family and I collect gently used, adult athletic shoes, brand new adult socks, and school supplies. We load them up in suitcases and put them on a plane and head to Jamaica.  Once there, we hand out the shoes and socks to the workers in our hotel, who are ever so thankful for them. We have also adopted Servite Primary School in Brown's Town, a village close by, and we bring them school supplies to support the 700+ children that attend their school. We do this out of the kindness of our hearts and yours. We are not a mission trip, with a church, or a 501c3 (didn't want to pay the fees when we could buy supplies instead.) We are just one family teaching our kids how to be kind and loving citizens of the world, and that it is always better to give back when possible. This is our way to give back, and we are so thankful you are helping us.


Share your shoes, share your love, share your world. 

If you'd like to donate to Soleful Suitcases and our upcoming trip in July 2013, there are several ways to help. You can donate your in-good-shape, still life left, adult athletic shoes. You can donate brand new adult socks. School supplies are always welcome. Shop on Amazon via the link on the right hand size so we get credit to help pay for baggage fees. Or donate to our GoFundMe site at www.gofundme.com/solefulsuitcases
www.facebook.com/solefulsuitcases   twitter @RunningWithHart
Melissa Hart  119 N. Parker St. #143 Olathe, KS 66061

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pray for Boston


#PrayforBoston

That hashtag is trending on twitter right now. After the bombings at the marathon yesterday, a mournful nation is reaching out to try and heal the wounds, and one of those ways is by committing 26.2 acts of kindness (#26acts2). I committed one this morning by buying the coffee of a stranger behind me at the Starbucks drive-thru line. I'm committing another by taking athletic shoes, socks, and school supplies to the poverty-stricken people in Jamaica. Can you help me?

I'm still looking for used, in-good-shape adult athletic shoes in either sex, brand new adult socks, and school supplies to take down to Jamaica in July. My family and I will be giving the shoes and socks out to the hotel works where we stay. (2 pairs of brand new socks for each pair of shoes.) We've also adopted a school (Servite Primary) in a local village, and once again, we hope to be able to shower the school with much needed supplies like crayons, pencils & pens, and books for their school library.

If you're in the Kansas City area, I can try to meet you someplace to collect a donation. If you're not, you can mail donations to me, or use the GoFundMe site I've set up in order to make long-distance donating easier. On our last trip we gave out 61 pairs of shoes. Help me make it 75 on this trip.

Share your shoes, share your love, share your world. 

If you'd like to donate to Soleful Suitcases and our upcoming trip in July 2013, there are several ways to help. You can donate your in-good-shape, still life left, adult athletic shoes. You can donate brand new adult socks. School supplies are always welcome. Shop on Amazon via the link on the right hand size so we get credit to help pay for baggage fees. Or donate to our GoFundMe site at www.gofundme.com/solefulsuitcases
www.facebook.com/solefulsuitcases   twitter @RunningWithHart
Melissa Hart  119 N. Parker St. #143 Olathe, KS 66061

Thursday, April 11, 2013

7 More Pairs of Shoes!

Thank you so much to Gary Gribbles at Ward Parkway in Kansas City. They gave 7 pairs of shoes today! Yahoo!! 3 men's, and 4 women's.




Total shoe count: 22 (14m, 8w)
For those keeping track, our current total sock need is as follows:

28 pairs of men's socks
16 pair's of women's socks


If you'd like to donate to Soleful Suitcases and our upcoming trip in July 2013, there are several ways to help. You can donate your in-good-shape, still life left, adult athletic shoes. You can donate brand new adult socks. School supplies are always welcome. Shop on Amazon via the link on the right hand size so we get credit to help pay for baggage fees. Or donate to our GoFundMe site at www.gofundme.com/solefulsuitcases

10 pairs of shoes!

Soleful Suitcases had a great day yesterday!

Gary Gribbles, a local Kansas City running store, is offering us some donations of shoes. When people go to buy new ones there, they often leave their old shoes and Gary Gribbles gives them to local charities. I emailed to ask them if they would give SS some of their shoes, and they said yes! So yesterday we went to the Overland Park location and received 4 pairs of shoes with the encouragement to come back again for more. Yahoo! Thanks Gary Gribbles!




Later in the afternoon I met my friend Miranda Kennedy at the gym for a Pilates class, and she gave me 6 pairs of men's shoes. Yahoo!


Yesterday we received 10 pairs of men's shoes - how great is that! Now we just need 20 pairs of men's socks to go with them.



If you'd like to donate to Soleful Suitcases and our upcoming trip in July 2013, there are several ways to help. You can donate your in good shape, still life left, adult athletic shoes. You can donate brand new adult socks. School supplies are always welcome. Shop on Amazon via the link on the right hand size so we get credit to help pay for baggage fees. Or donate to our GoFundMe site at www.gofundme.com/solefulsuitcases

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Donations Received Today!

Today was a good day for donations! A couple friends from KC Express passed along some nice donations, and I'm excited to share with you.

Jackie did some Spring Cleaning, and gave 2 suitcases, 1 large and 1 carry-on size. These suitcases are perfect, and we will put them to work in just a few months. She also passed along 3 pairs of shoes. These are the first pairs we've received for this trip. Thank you Jackie!



Patti passed along some paper, pencils, and index cards for the school. Yahoo! Thank you Patti!


Monday, April 1, 2013

Huge School Supplies Donation

As some of you may know, my parents were set to come with us last fall on our trip to Jamaica. They'd been gathering school supplies and donations from their friends in Oregon, and were planning on bringing several suitcases with them. However, my father became ill, and they had to cancel all together while we post-poned from October to late November.

My sister came out to visit us from Oregon, and was able to bring with her 2 huge suitcases stuffed to the gills with school supplies and shoe donations to take down to Jamaica. How exciting! So many crayons and colored pencils, pens and pencils. How exciting!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! We will gladly take all of this down with us and make sure the school children are showered with new supplies.




If you'd like to donate to Soleful Suitcases and our upcoming trip in July 2013, there are several ways to help. You can donate your in good shape, still life left, adult athletic shoes. You can donate brand new adult socks. School supplies are always welcome. Shop on Amazon via the link on the right hand size so we get credit to help pay for baggage fees. Or donate to our GoFundMe site at www.gofundme.com/solefulsuitcases

Friday, March 29, 2013

Another Laptop Donation!!!

What a day for Soleful Suitcases!

I came home from running errands today to find the UPS man walking up to my door with a fairly good size package. Knowing that I hadn't ordered anything recently, I was getting a little excited. Who doesn't like getting fun, packages in the mail unexpectedly?

I open up the box from Bill Hart, and find a laptop, all the cables and cords, and discs of software. Wow, what a blessing. What a huge blessing. This is the second laptop that has been donated, and we are so thrilled to be able to take such hugely needed items to a school in Jamaica.

Thanks Bill! Your donation means more than you'll ever know. Teachers will be able to educate better, and kids will be given the chance to learn more. Thanks so much!



If you'd like to donate to Soleful Suitcases and our upcoming trip in July 2013, there are several ways to help. You can donate your in good shape, still life left, adult athletic shoes. You can donate brand new adult socks. School supplies are welcome. Shop on Amazon via the link on the right hand size so we get credit to help pay for baggage fees. Or donate to our GoFundMe site at www.gofundme.com/solefulsuitcases

Monday, March 18, 2013

Support SS via GoFundMe.com

I have set up a site for Soleful Suitcases on GoFundMe.com, a website designed to help people, projects, or events raise money to support their goal. I was trying to find an easy way for people all over to help with this upcoming trip, and GoFundMe seemed like a good way to go.

With GoFundMe you can contribute to the trip and designate what you want your gift to go towards; socks, school supplies, baggage fees, etc. Or you can just give to the general pot and all those proceeds will go towards whatever costs we incur. I'm hoping to have your support with this. Please consider helping out.

The link to Soleful Suitcases is here:
http://www.gofundme.com/2c1q08 

You can also share the GoFundMe site with your friends and family via sending them to this blog, sharing it on facebook, twitter, or pinterest. The more that know about our trip, the more help we can bring to Jamaica.

Also, don't forget that you can help out by shopping on Amazon through our link. You can find that here  in the box on the right of the page. -->


Just as a reminder, or for those just tuning in, my family and I are headed to Jamaica in July 2013. We are hoping to bring 75 pairs of adult athletic shoes to the local population of hotel workers. With each pair of shoes, we'd also like to give 2 brand new pairs of socks. The people that work in these hotels work hard all day long, and don't make a great wage. By providing them with a pair of shoes, it allows them more comfort each day while they strive to provide for their families.
We are also adopting a local primary school, and hoping to bring them so much needed basic school supplies like crayons, colored pencils, kid scissors, pencils & pens, construction paper, and books for their library. The schools here are over-crowded and under-funded (sound familiar?). Supply donations like this are huge to them, and don't happen often, if ever. 

On our last trip in November 2012, we were able to give 60 pairs of shoes, 120 pairs of socks, and roughly 150 pounds of school supplies. We received a rock-star greeting at the school, and huge smiles from the hotel workers when we saw one wearing a new-to-them pair of shoes.
By setting up this GoFundMe site, we are hoping to have more involvement from friends and family that on our last trip said we were doing such good work, and they wished they could help, but didn't know how. Here is your how. Baggage fees have sky-rocketed, school supplies are costly, and once we get into Jamaica we still have to pay for transportation.  Thanks for all your help. Spread the word of our trip by sharing this blog or the GoFundMe site on your facebook feed, with your friends via email, or tweet about it. The more people that know, the more involved people can get and the more help to Jamaica we can provide. 

Share your shoes, share your love, share your world.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Big News at Soleful Suitcases!


You may be wondering why there is a picture of a laptop at the top of this post. Hummm... what could that mean? Well, I won't keep you in suspense any longer. It means we got the very first donation for our upcoming trip back to Jamaica!!!

That's right, you read that correctly. We are going back. This next trip is scheduled for July 2013. Just 4 short months away. And with such a short window, that means we don't have much time to gather donations and get things set.

Today got things jump-started though with a donation from Patti from KC Express for a laptop computer to be donated to a school. I'm so excited about this. A school will be able to use this. Teachers will be able to create lesson plans, hand-outs, or research a top. Students will learn to type, play educational games, and do school assignments on it. The possibilities are endless.

On the last trip we went on in November 2012, we were able to give 60 pairs of adult athletic shoes, 120 pairs of brand new socks (2 for each pair of shoes) to hotel workers where we stayed. We gave about 150 pounds of school supplies, books for their library, & a video projector to a local primary school. This filled 5 suitcases, and we hope to do it all again, and then some! Can you help us? Below is the list of items we are gathering, at full speed, to help make this trip a success!

What we need for our 2013 trip:

6 suitcases full of goodies, including:

-75 pairs of athletic shoes


-150 pairs of *new* socks (athletic, not dress)


-150 pounds of school supplies including new or gently used children's books. Age from "picture" books through "chapter" books.


-Working laptop(s)


-Thumb drives for teachers to save work on


-Digital camera(s) (with cords and software?)


-Baggage Fees paid for 100% with donations/fundraising roughly $330


(Baggage fees went up. The first 3 bags will now cost $35 each and any after that will be $75 each. Ouch!)


-6 suitcases

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Spring Cleaning?



So if you're like me, you are buried under a couple feet of snow. Kansas City has had the one-two punch from Mother Nature, and from the looks of it, we'll be seeing the white stuff for weeks to come. I don't know how it will all melt, or where all that water will go. I hope my Spring bulbs are not suffering from it though.

While being cooped up in the house, I've been trying to clean out closets and organize rooms. I've been working on getting my taxes ready to hand to the accountant, and hoping to make a dent in Spring cleaning and organizing. I made a new reading nook in my bedroom, and I already love it! Are you doing that as well? Have you cleaned out your office, or a closet yet? What about the art corner, or have you gone through the kid's pile of books and found some they no longer read? How about your hall closet with that pile of athletic shoes from last Spring and you already have a new pair?

Consider donating your treasures to Soleful Suitcases. We are looking for the following items, and would be happy to take them off your hands.

-75 pairs of athletic shoes 
-150 pairs of NEW socks (athletic type, not dress) 
-150 pounds of school supplies including children's book in good shape. (Age range from "picture" books through "chapter" books.) 
-Working laptop(s) 
-Thumb drives for teachers to save work on 
-Digital camera(s) (with cords and software?) 
-6 suitcases 

We are working on getting our trip planning going, and hoping to have some dates soon. Our plan is to go before August though, as our youngest son will turn two and we'd have to pay for an airline ticket for him. If we go before then, we can save $500+.

Also, as a reminder, we are not an official 501c3 charity organization, and as such, your donation is not tax deductible. Sorry. It costs a lot of money to get an organization like that set up, and right now, we'd rather spend that money on getting the items to Jamaica. So when you give, you are giving out of the kindness of your heart.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Just pluggin' along

I know its been a week since I last posted, but I haven't had much to say. I went to my in-laws house over the weekend and while there my youngest boy came down with something. I'm not sure what, but it whatever bug he picked up involves a high fever and all that yucky stuff that comes with it. He has been achy and miserable since Saturday night, and not really showing signs of improving.

Anyway, with Valentine's Day coming up, consider doing your online shopping through Amazon, and even more specifically, through the link on this blog. For each purchase made through this site, Soleful Suitcases receives a very small commission, which can then be used to offset the cost of the baggage fees.
Amazon is running some great gift specials which you can find here:


Monday, January 14, 2013

The boys and I went to a local thrift store this morning on the hunt for Legos for the oldest, who is 4 1/2 and really getting into Legos. (I could make a whole post about Legos. They are so darn expensive, come with so many little parts, and like all parents, think they hurt like the dickens when stepped on. But he does love them, and they fuel his imagination so much. He thinks we should take Legos for all the children in Jamaica, but doesn't understand the cost involved.)

Anyway, we struck out on the Lego front, but did stop to look at their suitcase selection, which is normally pretty slim. Today was about the same, but they did have a short, deep, roller case that could possibly be good. It looked clean, in good shape, and like it could hold quite a bit. However, the store wanted $19.99 for it. While I understand that is an excellent price for a suitcase if you're going to use it more than once, I am not. So I left it there. The store is having a 50% off sale next Monday 1/21 for the holiday, so I'm hoping the case will still be there and I can score it for just $10. Cross your fingers for me.

Friday, January 11, 2013

How Many Shoes?



I put up a new poll over on our Facebook page asking the question - "How many pairs of athletic shoes will we get for our 2013 trip?" It is completely non-scientific and just for fun, but all the same, make a guess. Leave a comment and tell me how many pairs you'll be donating.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

School Supplies Shopping



Recently I made a trip to Costco for all that stuff that a family of 4 doesn't need. You know what I'm talking about, right? I mean, really, unless you are a restaurant, who needs a 100oz. bottle of ketchup? Anyway, while there I walked down the office supplies aisle, and found some great deals on school supplies. These are some of the deals I found.

646 sheets of construction paper in 12 different colors for $8.99 (less than 0.02 per sheet)
9 dozen Papermate ink pens in black or blue for $7.89  (0.07 per pen)
8 dozen Dixon pencils for $9.49 (0.10 per pencil)
24 Scotch gluesticks for $6.49 (0.27 per stick)

These are amazing prices, and would go a long way to improving a school. Next time you are at Costco and have an extra $10, consider picking up one of these items instead of that jumbo bag of cheese puffs.

If you don't have a Costco membership and still want to help out, considered ordering something online and having it shipped directly to Soleful Suitcases.
Our shipping address is
Melissa Hart
119 N. Parker St. PMB#143
Olathe, KS 66061

Amazon has several of the same items listed.
24 Scotch gluesticks
5 dozen BIC pens
8 dozen Dixon pencils
500 sheets of construction paper 


Thanks so much!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

1400 Blog Hits

Wow! What a great milestone for Soleful Suitcases! We passed the 1400 views mark this week. Which for those who don't quite understand what that means (dad), I'll fill you in. It means that over the course of the past 6 months or so since I started this blog, people have looked at this little site 1400 times. I don't know how many unique views I have since I haven't installed those kind of tools on this blog, but I'm just thrilled that people like you keep coming back. It says to me that you care about the cause and how to help. You care about the progress of it all, and want to see success.

I feel almost like The Little Blue Engine that could, and I keep on going. I really did start out saying, "I think I can, I think I can." After the trip after Thanksgiving, and the huge outpour of support, I am now saying, "I know I can, I know I can."

I just know this next trip, when ever it ends up happening, will be big. BIG.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Planning for the Next Trip

I know it seems like we just got back, and really, we did. We've been home for just over a month now. However, we're already thinking about going back, and the goodies we can take this time. Last time I had no idea what kind of support to expect, and I'd made a goal in my head to take 3 suitcases with 30 pairs of shoes and maybe a few boxes of crayons. For this next trip, I'm putting my goals out there for all to see and help meet.

Goals

6 suitcases full of goodies, including:
-75 pairs of athletic shoes
-150 pairs of new socks
-150 pounds of school supplies
-Working laptop
-Thumb drives for teachers to save work on
-Digital camera
-Baggage Fees paid for 100% with donations/fundraising roughly $330
(Baggage fees went up. The first 3 bags will now cost $35 each and any after that will be $75 each. Ouch!)
-6 suitcases

How You Can Help

Start saving your athletic shoes. If you want them out of your house now, I'm happy to take and store them.

Buy some socks.  You can grab a package off Amazon and have them shipped directly to me, or give them to me next time we see each other.

Keep your eyes open for sales on school supplies. I realize January is not the normal time to buy them, but random sales happen.

Donate a laptop or netbook you are no longer using. Please make sure it is in good working order and has your personal data removed. Having Windows on it would be a huge plus.

Donate your old thumb drives that you've wiped clean. While the drive might not hold enough for you, it'll hold plenty of basic documents for teachers. This makes having limited access to computers easier for them.

Donate your old digital camera. It would be great if you still had the power cords/adapters, a memory card, or any instruction manuals/software. You could also find an inexpensive one and give the gift of a new one.

Donate your old suitcase and buy yourself a nice, new fancy one. Or, give the gift of a suitcase.

Donate money. There are a couple ways to do this.
First you can donate through the link on the right side of this blog at the "Donate Button". This takes you to a site that will allow you to donate and send me the money via Paypal. I then will use that money for baggage fees, or to buy socks and school supplies.
The other way you can help is by shopping with Amazon via the link on the left. Amazon has reviewed this website and approved it to allow me to make a small commission from each sale that originates from here. You simply click the link, do your shopping, and check out like normal. There is no difference in price or service from Amazon. Soleful Suitcases will then get 4% from the total sale to help defer the baggage fees and other costs. You can also bookmark this link http://amzn.to/TLtQF8 and use it as your starting point for Amazon.

You can also help by spreading the word. Tell people about this blog and our facebook page. The more people that know about this, the more help will come. After our last trip, I've become a firm believer that people want to help you, they just don't know how to. If you give them the information and tools to help, they will. Good things can and do happen.