Thursday, July 23, 2009

RV Tour Article

Here is an article in Trading Markets on Allan and Silvana Clark's Soles4Souls' RV tour. For more stories on their adventures, read their blog here.

The first time a motorist waved Allan and Silvana Clark off the road on their shoe-collecting trek across America, Silvana thought their RV must have a broken taillight. Instead, the motorist said she had a bag of used shoes in her trunk that she'd been planning to drop off at a thrift store.

"Will you take them?" Silvana Clark recalled the driver saying.

The Seattle couple stopped in Cedar Rapids this week on a yearlong RV trip that began in March to represent Soles4Souls at shoe collection drives. They visited Finish Line stores at Westdale Mall and Lindale Mall on Monday and Wednesday, and the Foot Solutions store on Blairs Ferry Road on Tuesday.

The volunteers go anywhere that people have shoes to give away -- "schools, Rotary clubs, churches, road runs, community fairs," Clark said.

Runners have handed the Clarks a still-hot pair of sweat-soaked $200 running shoes at the finish line of marathons, slipped on a pair of flip-flops, and walked away.

"I have hand sanitizers with me at all time," said Silvana, a professional speaker and writer.

About 3,000 shoes were donated to victims of last year's flood in Cedar Rapids, Clark said.

The Clarks have been to Africa, Peru, Guatemala and other countries where Soles4Souls ships used shoes.

"We've had times when people would line up four to five hours in advance, and the line stretches around the block," Silvana said.

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