[...] the highly visible motorhome often serves as a rolling calling card for donations. Recently, they visited a school for emotionally disturbed children that had conducted a shoe drive; represented the charity at a 5K race held by Girls on the Run (a national program that helps build self esteem for girls); and attended a college soccer game to support a team that had organized a shoe collection.
made you look t r av e l w i t h a p u r p o s e å Sole Drivers Allan and Silvana Clark’s goodwill odyssey for Soles4Souls delivers the charity’s message. By Greg Dutter FOOTWEAR PLUS CAUGHT up with “Sole Am- bassadors” Allan and Silvana Clark last month as they were making their way along a snowy stretch of deserted Alabama highway to New Orleans for Silvana Clark shows off an event designed to raise awareness about in- donations to Soles4Souls’ dustry charity Soles4Souls. Despite spotty cell mobile shoe drive. phone reception and dicey weather conditions, co-pilot Silvana filled us in on the goodwill odys- sey she and her husband have been on for the past eight months. On the road, there have been memorable moments aplenty. Silvana recalls The Clarks have made appearances at more than 100 events along the way, being at a three-day shoe drive at Walmart’s Bentonville, AK, headquarters visiting numerous retailers, schools and houses of worship in their custom- and hearing a father explain to his 4-year-old son why they should donate wrapped Soles4Souls RV. In fact, the highly visible motorhome often serves as his beloved but too small shoes. Unwilling to part with them on day one, they a rolling calling card for donations. “We often get unsolicited donations while came back the next day and the boy tearfully complied. “Even though it must we are staying in campgrounds,” Silvana says. “We’ll be out for a have been painful, it was nice to see the father take that much walk, and when we come back, there will be a pair of shoes on time with his son explaining a good cause,” Silvana says. our picnic table.” And while the RV’s main purpose is to be an TRAVEL LOG Those aren’t the only tears that have been shed during attention-getter—not a collection bin—Silvana says it doesn’t stop the Clarks’ travels. Silvana recalls a shoe drive at a Foot Mileage to date: 23,000 people from pulling alongside their RV, waving for them to pull Solutions store in Georgia, at which a man donated about Daily mileage: Around 150 over because they happen to have shoes in their car to donate. 40 pairs. They had belonged to his sister and her husband, Months on the road: 8 Wayne Elsey, founder and CEO of Nashville, TN-based who had recently died in a car accident. “He said she would States visited: 24 Soles4Souls, could not have imagined a better return on his want us to have them and then started crying,” Silvana says, Travel traditions: A high- used-RV investment, which occurred in response to the cou- adding similar situations have occurred at least ﬁve times. ﬁve upon crossing a state line ple’s out-of-the-blue offer to tour the country in support of the “The [families] don’t want a receipt or anything,” she adds. Must-haves: GPS device, charity. “We became empty-nesters wondering what to do,” “I get choked up thinking about it.”
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