Reporting Regine Schlesinger
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ALSIP, Ill. (CBS) — A Chicago area-based charity that puts shoes on bare feet in developing countries is scrambling to find new warehouse space within the next few days.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, Share Your Soles has just 9 days to find a new place for its operations.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports
Mona Purdy, better known as “the Shoe Lady,” founded the organization 13 years ago.
“I was in Guatemala; saw children putting hot tar on the soles of their bare feet because their parents could not afford shoe,” she said.
Over 13 years, her charity has donated over 1.5 million pairs of shoes to the poorest places on earth.
This past February, Purdy lost many of her possessions in a fire at her apartment in Worth, but continued on with the charity as the shoes were safe at a separate warehouse.
But now, the organization has to leave the Alsip warehouse it has borrowed for the past year and a half where hundreds of volunteers pack and ship thousands of pairs of shoes.
“I get happy. I pull in here and can’t find a space for my own car,” she said. “I’m like ‘Yes, yes!’ I’ve wanted this forever and now we have it.”
But to keep it going she has to find someone to lend her another warehouse for at least 18 months, a space of at least 15,000 square feet that’s easily accessible and that has loading docks.