JONESBORO,AR (KAIT) - The second annual "Warm Hearts, Warm Soles" shoe drivetook place on at St. Bernards Health and Wellness Institute in Jonesboro.
MickeyRyan with 103.9 The Game, and founder of this fundraiser, says this all startedwhen he saw someone in need. "Last year around this time, I saw a youngman downtown," Mickey said. "I was making a donation at the SalvationArmy and the young man was playing out front without adequate shoes. His feetwere hanging off the back. I tried and tried to find that young man, later. Iwas going to give him a pair of my own shoes. I didn't find him. And I justwanted to do something to make sure no child would go without."
Mickeydecided to reach out to the community and Region 8 residents responded. "I'vesaid it before and I'll say it again," Mickey stated. "The people ofNortheast Arkansas are the greatest people to help their neighbors. There's nobetter place than Northeast Arkansas as far as people stepping up. We got overthree hundred pairs of usable shoes last year."
Theysat themselves up inside St. Bernards Health and Wellness Center hoping tocatch people's attention, and Mickey said Wednesday morning kicked off with abang. "As people come in, maybe just to work out, and ask us what we'redoing and we tell them they've been running home to get shoes and comingback," Mickey said. "Some people who even knew about it and broughtshoes have said, 'You know what I'm going to go to my neighbor's house, friend'shouse and ask them. People here just want to help."
ExecutiveDirector for Health Care Medical Group, Christina Ryan, says people need to begrateful for the blessings in their life and pass it on. "So many times weall take for granted the fact that we have all the things that we need,"Christina said. "We have coats to put on our kids before they go to schooland they have shoes that fit and there are just a lot of us who take stuff forgranted. So, I would just encourage people to be thankful for the things theyhave and to help out those who really need."
Mickeyis asking Region 8 residents to take a moment to stop and look around, "Ithink we all sort of get caught up in our own world sometimes and we think ifour stomach is full and we've got shoes on our feet and a coat on our back theneverybody does. But that's just not the case. You don't have to look very hardor very far to see the need in this community."
Thisyear's goal is 500 pairs of shoes. For those you miss the drive, you can stillhelp.
Mickeysays anyone can contact them through 103.9 The Game and they'll make sure anyadditional donations get to the local YMCA.
Fromthere, the shoes will be distributed to those in need. For information aboutthe shoe drive, log onto their website.