9 Sep 2017

Thinking Outside the (shoe)Box

A sampling of my well-loved Fluevogs!
            My favourite brand of (non-athletic) shoes happen to be a lot of other people's favourite brand of shoes. They're well made, by a Canadian designer, and cover the spectrum of stylish: my closet includes funky heels and vibrant boots, even a pair of flats a bishop complimented this week (win!).
            As a result, they are in high demand, and there are numerous opportunities to buy, sell, and trade our pre-loved shoes. There are several groups where we share advice on matching outfits, our favourite styles and colours, you name it. We are a community of folks around a shared interest; with emphasis on positivity and support and the sharing of goodness.
            I was thrilled when a new sub-group was formed within this particular community. In lieu of selling or trading our beloved pre-loveds, or purging the closets to a local thrift shop, people are offering them to one another. Rather than receive money for selling our shoes, we are asking the recipient to donate a suggested amount to one of our favourite charities.  Folks who cannot afford a cash donation are encouraged to donate time at a local charity. These can be local or international, small or huge, and work "for the betterment of humanity, the environment, animals or the arts."
            The response to this new initiative has been delightful. People are sharing their joy at being part of something like this, an innovative way to share our passion for justice and compassion. We're able to literally live the Christian mission of sharing one with another, in a multitude of ways. In a mere 3 weeks, over $2000 (US currency!) has been donated to worthwhile causes, and people are keen to go find a pair of unworn beauties they can offer to the group.
            This highlights how we all have something we can share; it articulates how we can all provide some benefit to the broader community. We don't always have to just write a cheque in order to be giving, sometimes what we have to give is hiding in our closets... or our skillsets... or our knowledge... or our time.
            It's a win-win-win group. Someone gets a new pair of shoes they wanted. Someone else gets new space in their closet. Someone else benefits form the time and/or money that supports a good cause. And a lot of us get to connect with other like-minded people.

            Imagine the possibilities, if we were all willing to think outside the (shoe)box. Imagine how we can continue to build and strengthen the communities to which we belong. And - dare to do it!

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