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Shoe Shopping with Purpose

May 26, 2016

Pictured left to right: Julie Purcell, Grant Writer and Volunteer Coordinator - Lazarus House; Donna Rezzuto, Sales Associate - The Little Traveler; Leslie Waterson, Buyer - The Little Traveler

Twice each year, The Little Traveler, Naot shoes by Yaleet, and Lazarus House work together to donate brand new and gently used shoes to local women in need. At the latest shoe trade-in event this spring, The Little Traveler invited customers to bring in their gently used shoes for donations. In addition to those donations, Yaleet donated over 100 pairs of brand new Naot shoes.

Julie Purcell, Grant Writer & Volunteer Coordinator for Lazarus House, says, "Every woman that comes to our shelter has her own story and not one of them is the same. We have single moms, victims of domestic violence, those with major health issues, seniors, youth, and many more." Receiving the shoes lifts their spirits as well as their arches. "So many of the ladies become excited at the prospect of a new pair of shoes," says Purcell. "They often have not had a new pair for years."

Purcell explains that once the donations arrive at Lazarus House, "The shoes are sorted by size and put in a baskets. Each of our ladies comes to our Community Resource Center to 'shop' for shoes. They sit down with the basket of shoes in their size and try them on and show them off to each other. It's wonderful to see them encouraging each other and giving compliments. They really enjoy the experience."

Naot shoes are about more than just fashion. Donna Rezzuto, Sales Associate at The Little Traveler, says, "Naot is a top brand in comfort shoes. The footbeds conform to your feet. You don't even think about having a shoe on because they're that comfortable. And they're durable—they last a long time."

"The partnership is a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community," says Leslie Waterson, buyer for The Little Traveler. The family-owned, 36-room boutique has had close ties with the community since it was founded in 1922 by Kate Raftery.    

Lazarus House serves men, women, and children connected to the school districts of St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, and western rural Kane County who are homeless or at risk. It provides emergency shelter 365 days a year, a transitional housing program, and an outreach program to provide rent, mortgage, and utility assistance to qualifying households. If you'd like to help Lazarus House, you can find a list of current needs posted at Commonly needed items include 33 gallon trash bags, disinfectant wipes, paper towels, gift cards to Walmart, Target, Meijer. Items can be dropped off at Lazarus House (214 Walnut Street St. Charles, IL 60174) Monday through Saturday 8am-9pm, and Sunday after 5pm.

Little Traveler
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