April showers may bring May flowers, but April held nothing but sunshine for the children of Rosa Parks Elementary. On April 7th, over 100 pairs of shoes and socks were distributed to students at the school, which is near GSF’s Portland, Ore. DC.
United Stationers’ participation with the GSF Foundation made this Shoes That Fit event unique. United Stationers (USSCO) associates not only donated their time and service, but $400.00 towards the purchase of the shoes, as well. This is just part of a wonderful relationship that is blossoming between GSFF and USSCO, which includes the annual Fall backpack deliveries to elementary school students in need.
Mark Halpern, general manager of GSF’s Portland, Ore. DC, shared a story about a young boy who was embarrassed to try on his new shoes in front of others because of holes in his socks. The little boy initially asked to go to the bathroom, but feeling comfortable with Mark, he allowed Mark to help him put on his new socks and new Adidas shoes in an area Mark blocked off from view. This made the child feel very special.
“It is amazing the feeling it gives you to help those less fortunate,” said Mark, who is the Portland Foundation Chair. “We take much for granted and should be very appreciative for what we have. This was a moment which brings back the small things in life which are so important. The Foundation really does touch those in need and here is one great example.”
GSF volunteers that lent a hand at the Portland Shoes That Fit event included Le Trenholm from Portland Operations, and Ann Blaine of Portland customer service. Le and Ann helped to coordinate the morning event along with Portland DC associates Ashleigh Revelle, customer service; Ralph Lopez, warehouse supervisor; Lee Magee, operations supervisor; Tom Mayer, driver (with son, Joey Mayer); and Chris Parker, driver, who assisted in delivering and handing out the shoes. Leeca Waggener, customer service manager, spent the previous Saturday purchasing 60 of the 100 pairs of shoes distributed. Ann Blaine and Chris Parker also began the process weeks earlier by performing measurements of all the children’s feet, so each child would have shoes that fit.
Congratulations to GSF’s Portland DC for a successful team effort! There were many happy children who left the event ready to start an exciting rough-and-tumble summer with sturdy new shoes and socks!