Can one person's dreams become reality because their desires are great and cause changes to be made for better? Often we see a need and think 'I'm sorry, it's too big and I can't do anything to change it.'
When the new school years starts, I always think of my friend, Sue Olive. Among the things we did together was work at Lamb House in Lake Area Benevolence. Sue, the mother of three boys, had taught school in Camden County. She was caring, committed and enthusiastic. She told me it always bothered her that her boys had new shoes for school and several in her class needed them. It was her dream that no child in Camden County should start school needing shoes.
It was and is the practice of Lamb House to review their services each year and find ways to serve the community. School nurses would often call to see if we would provide shoes for a needy child... but we knew many were being overlooked. Sue challenged the board to provide needed school shoes.
A program was designed where working through school nurses, we would be aware of needs and search for ways to fund. Sue volunteered to oversee the project. Many of you will remember how we urged our board members to enlist the support of their church, went to organizations and individuals explaining the need and our commitment. She went to shoe stores and supplied them with tax exemption numbers and secured quantity discounts. She also did all the purchasing and deliveries. Generously, the community supported the program and hundreds of pairs of name brand shoes have been given over more than ten years.
When Sue passed away in Nov. 2008, the Lamb House board agreed we couldn't let her dream die and the program cease, so the Sue's Shoes Account was established in her memory.
At the beginning of school each year, we thank you for your support through the past and ask for your continued help. Due to circumstances beyond control, anticipation are for more requests this year. Weather damage and unemployment have made life difficult for many families. Unexpected expenses plus primary school needs have limited shoe purchases.
With the many emergencies in the area, we know funds are limited but our faith and commitment is strong. This program reaches needs of our children. To our knowledge no child has been without new shoes for several years.
New name brand shoes bring comfort, confidence and smiles. One person can make a difference... Sue's dream has become reality but it was fulfilled because our community cares.