The Story

Disclaimer: This is a personal story of how I (Caryn) came to be a part of A Walk In My Shoes.  Is it not the story of the organization as a whole.  Values and beliefs conveyed in this story are unique to me as an individual, not the organization as a whole.

The concept of A Walk In My Shoes Inc. came about in winter of 2007.  I was cleaning out my closet one day and had put a lot of shoes in the trash pile.  My mom usually took this pile and brought it to Goodwill.  However, this time I went to her and told her that I wanted to do something more with the shoes.  She was confused, so I went on and suggested sending them to Africa or wherever.  Then, the idea to collect shoes from my church (Community United Methodist in DeBary) popped in my head.  I went and talked to my pastor the following Sunday.  He had mentioned something about Haiti and his heart for it.  I am not sure why Haiti sat on my heart the next week, it just did.  The idea to send shoes to Haiti was not formally presented at church for a couple months.  I had no connections in Haiti and no way to send the shoes, until, the Outreach committee chair, Cheri Mangum, came to me with information about Living in Faith and their shipping to Haiti.  It took a while, but we got in contact with Living in Faith and they agreed to ship shoes for us.  So, I finally presented the idea to my church and people began to bring shoes to a box we had set up in our fellowship hall.  That summer of 2008, Vacation Bible School made it their mission to collect shoes for what had come to be known as, A Walk In My Shoes.  By the end of the year we had collected 1,500 pairs of shoes and I had a plane ticket to Port-au-Prince.  I went to Haiti in January of 2009.  It was an unforgettable trip that changed me and finally set me up to find out why I had done all this AWIMS stuff.  Since 2009, we have collected and sent over 10,800 pairs of shoes.  We have also become incorporated and is filing for the 501c3.  I still am not too sure about why this happened.  I do know exactly how.  God.  God gave me the opportunity to do what I do and I am so thankful for it and the people that help me.  All the work put into AWIMS is God’s.          

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