This is the story of how 802 shoes helped Katie's Krops grow. My ten-year-old brother, John Michael, has been by my side from the day my tiny cabbage seedling went into the ground. He has volunteered in the gardens, supported my efforts and has helped Katie's Krops grow. This summer, he helped us grow in the most unexpected way.
It was a Saturday morning in June when my brother and I heard our neighbor, Mr. Appelbaum, on the radio promoting a shoe drive at his Kia car dealership. He was asking for people to collect their old shoes and bring them to the dealership to help people in need. My brother turned to me and suggested we could help collect shoes. That is when the idea hit me. We could throw a Philanthro-Party, a party that gives back! This idea belongs my great friend, Lulu, the founder of LemonAID Warriors. The idea behind the party is simple; it is a party with a purpose. We would ask John Michael’s friends to clean out their closets and bring any shoes they no longer needed to the party. It would be a party that gave back. And when would we host this party? Well, why not today!
We got right to work. It was a sunny Saturday morning, a perfect day for a party. We hit the ground running. Invitations, we would make those on our computer. Refreshments, my mom always has cake mix and frosting on hand and I love to bake. Decorations, my brother broke out the sidewalk chalk and colored the driveway in fun and colorful messages. The guests, my brother and his best friend would drop off invitations to all of their friends in the neighborhood. My brother even agreed to part with an I-Tunes gift card that he had received as a gift to give as a prize to the guest who brought the most shoes.
We were off to a great start. The cake was made. The invitations had been distributed. Now it was time for me to step back and let my brother play host for his first Philanthro-Party. The party was a huge success! On only 4 hours’ notice, my brother's friends had gathered bags and bags of shoes. They came, they snacked, they played, they had a great time, and they gave back to help people in need. It was the perfect party.
That night, my brother gathered his shoe collection and made a surprise delivery to our neighbor, Mr. Appelbaum. What happened next was wonderful and most unexpected. Mr. Appelbaum was so excited for the help with his shoe drive, that he invited my brother to join him on a radio tour to promote the shoe drive. For those of you who do not know my brother, he is very shy and reserved. A radio tour is definitely not in his comfort zone. He rose to the occasion and hit the airwaves, and in the process, he got a lot of laughs and a whole new group of supporters.
The shoes came pouring in, and in, and in. His teachers showed up at our doorstep with boxes filled with shoes. Friends called to let us know that bags of shoes were waiting for my brother on their doorstep. The community rallied around his efforts. It was amazing. When all was said and done, my brother had collected 802 shoes, or 400 pairs and 2 odd shoes.
On another Saturday morning, we loaded not one, but two trucks with his massive shoe collection and head to Kia Country of Charleston to deliver the shoes for the Soles4Souls shoes drive. I was so proud of my brother and his efforts and so was Mr. Appelbaum and his new friends at the radio station. They presented John Michael with six tickets to WWE Raw. For a ten year old WWE fan, it does not get any better than that! He was thrilled. At this point, you would think that this is where the story ends. But wait, just how did his giant shoe collection help Katie's Krops grow?
Monster High and Mattel were hosting a contest for the best Philanthro-Party. I entered on behalf of John Michael, sharing my brothers efforts. WE WON!!!! His prize was a Monster High prize pack and a $1,000 for his favorite charity....Katie's Krops!
Thank you John Michael for helping Mr. Applebaum, Souls4Soles, people in need everywhere and for helping Katie's Krops! I am so very proud of you. And that, my friends, is the story of how 802 shoes helped Katie's Krops grow.