Monday, February 23, 2009

Carlsbad (CA) Woman Organizes Shoe Drive for the Needy

Act of charity was a Christmas present for husband


by Stacy Brandt

As a Christmas gift to her husband, a local woman hopes to collect at least 2,500 shoes next month to give to needy people.

Liz Jones, a Carlsbad resident, said she came up with the idea after hearing about another woman who, more than 30 years ago, was inspired to donate to charity each year as a Christmas present to her husband, who didn't agree with the commercialization of the holiday.

Jones is working with local public agencies, businesses and schools to bring in as many shoes as possible, she said.

Her husband, Phillip, said he was thrilled with the work his wife is doing in his honor.

He said that as a child, he didn't get shoes often and cherished every pair that he got.

"I didn't grown up in a wealthy family," Phillip Jones said. "When I got a new pair of shoes, it was a big deal. It was a really big deal."

Now, he has amassed quite a collection ---- more than 50 pairs, he figured. He said he plans to donate about half of those to his wife's shoe drive, which will run Feb. 23-27.

Carlsbad Unified School District campuses will have donation boxes set up next week for children and parents to donate. Half of the shoes collected will go to people in San Diego County, while the other half will go to the Soles4Souls nonprofit group, which will distribute them to needy people across the globe.

Superintendent John Roach said he thought the shoe drive was a good idea.

"People in our community probably have a bunch of boxes of shoes in their closet," he said. "It's that time of year ---- spring cleaning ---- and there are people all over the world who could probably use those shoes."

The drive will also remind students of the importance of charity and could spur more philanthropy, Roach said.

"It just shows people that it doesn't take a lot to do some good for a lot of people," he said.

Jones said she hopes to make the shoe drive an annual event that will grow each year.

A list of drop-off locations and more information is available online at Also on the Web site is the original story that inspired Jones, "For the Man Who Hated Christmas," which was published in Woman's Day magazine in 1982.

Contact staff writer Stacy Brandt at (760) 901-4009 or

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