An open letter to my best friend — November 8, 2015

An open letter to my best friend

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Caitlyn

To say I’m proud of you would be an understatement. Your hard work, persistence, and never give up attitude landed you in the Top 15 of Miss Ohio USA. Watching you last night on stage was one of the highlights of my year. This journey hasn’t been easy for you ( but how boring would it have been if it was?!) but you pushed hard, made sacrifices, and knew that with God on your side you could do anything you set your mind to. Preparing for a pageant is more difficult than anyone can imagine. You worked harder than ever; working out, practicing, and even watching what you eat (btw I hope your enjoying a donut as you read this!) to make sure your body was in top shape, and you looked amazing!

Caitlyn, you are one of the kindest, sweetest souls I have ever met. You show me day in and day out what it means to let God show your way. Throughout this entire process you have known all along that God has a bigger plan for you than you can imagine. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing that is. Watching you grow and become more confident in yourself has been such a joy.

I am so grateful to have you in my life. Thankful for all of our conversations. Thankful to have a pageant sister like you that goes to the end of the earth for her bestie, even if we do live 3.5 hours away from each other. I am in awe of your grace and how much your give of yourself. I am so thankful for the friendship we share and can’t wait to see where your path will lead you. ¬†Thank you for being the role model, an inspiration, and more importantly for being a strong woman of God.

With love

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Making a difference, one pair of shoes at a time — July 30, 2015

Making a difference, one pair of shoes at a time

I wanted to share with you all my “WHY” for wanting to raise more awareness for Shoes4theShoeless and have 100 pairs of shoes donated. There are so many reasons I wanted to do this but my first two are my most important. My main reason is for the kids whose families simply can not afford to buy a pair of shoes. These kids are already living below/ well below poverty. The last thing they should have to worry about is having a pair of shoes that fits them. Some, if not most, of the kids that we have serviced have signs showing their feet are being developed improperly because their shoes don’t fit right. Development issues result in kids not being able to walk properly or even run because their feet hurt. In the winter, their feet get cold because their shoes are so worn that snow gets in the bottom of them and gets their socks wet. We all know Ohio winters can be brutal. Could you imagine what it’s like to walk around school with your feet cold and wet all day? I know I can’t. The second reason I want to do this is for Bob. I can remember asking him if he knew of any organizations that I could join as apart of the volunteer portion for my pageant requirement for Miss Ohio Latina. I remember him telling me he had one in mind but he didn’t know if I was able to handle it because of how emotional I am. (Bob knew that seeing people in need broke my heart and children would just break me emotionally) After he told me about Shoes4theShoeless I knew that I had to join this organization. Because of Bob and how generous he was with anyone in our community, I knew this organization was made for me. The first delivery I did was at a school that was very impoverished. However, these were the sweetest kids I have ever met. They didn’t have much and giving kids shoes was very special. I’ll never forget going to work the next day and telling Bob about how amazing my experience has been. I’ll also never forget how proud he was of me that day. For anyone that knows Bob, he was a man of few words, and when he said “I’m proud of you” it meant the entire world to me. Being able to help carry on his legacy means so much to me, and by getting 100 pairs of shoes to donate, I know he would be proud.

It’s been a year since I started volunteering for Shoes4theShoeless. It’s been an incredible year. Not only have I been able to meet such wonderful and amazing kids, I have proven that you don’t have to be rich and famous to make a difference. Making a difference in our community means helping those in need. As one little boy said, “family helps family”. Making a difference in someone’s life is giving them something invaluable. To these kids a pair of shoes is invaluable. A pair of shoes means they can run free. A pair of shoes means they don’t have to see the worry in their parent’s eyes. A pair of shoes means these kids can go to bed without worrying about how their shoes smell or look, or whether or not they will be wearing socks that day. Please help me by donating a pair of shoes and finding out more about the organization that has changed my life.

http://www.shoes4theshoeless.org

Until next time

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