SHOE DONATIONS … FOR LOVE
Laurie takes her “babies,” her two black lab mixes (Sam and Buca), to photographer Connie White for regular photo shoots every year. As a devoted customer and now friend, Laurie McGarry also follows Connie and CWLIFE Photography on Facebook, and that’s where she first saw the post – a call for shoe donations.
IMPROVING OTHERS’ LIVES
“I reached out to ask Connie what it was about – and learned she’s involved with Dando Amor’s Shoes for Love program, a nonprofit effort that gathers shoe donations and delivers them to orphanages and women’s shelters in developing countries,” said Laurie. “The thing that hit home for me was some of these kids and adults – this is the first pair of shoes they have ever had. I had no idea how much disease can spread by stepping barefoot through marshes and contaminated water. We take wearing shoes for granted here – it’s so easy for us to donate our used shoes, and it makes such a big difference for them. I had to get involved.”
Shoes for Love has become a passion for Laurie. The Origami Owl Designer donated her own bag of shoes the first year, and she’s gotten involved in collecting shoe donations throughout the community ever since. Laurie has been touched by the response saying, “I’ve gotten so much support from my Origami Owl team members and customers – one local designer dropped off two large trash bags full of shoes. Another shipped hers from North Carolina, and she spent $30 to send it, and I received a trunk full from a customer in Chandler!”
Laurie also created special Living Lockets to celebrate the Shoes for Love cause. “The lockets have Inscription plates that read ‘Shoes for Love’ and ‘Dando Amor’ (Dando Amor is the parent nonprofit for Shoes for Love). I found retired Shoe Charms and Foot Charms and even Red Heart Charms (the nonprofit’s color is red). I made five lockets total – two for the founders’ wives, one for Connie, one for me and an extra for a volunteer of their choosing. They were so appreciative; they couldn’t believe someone would think to do something for them.”
ENRICHING HER OWN LIFE
Creating meaningful lockets has become another passion of Laurie’s since she joined Origami Owl in 2013. In fact, it was a locket that first brought her to the custom jewelry company. She had ordered a locket for her mom’s birthday, and when she showed her friends a picture of the gift, they all wanted one.
“I couldn’t believe the response. It started me thinking. I had recently moved to Arizona and didn’t really know anyone outside of work,” said Laurie. “I figured Origami Owl could be good for me – help me broaden my social circle and make friends. Now two of my very good friends have come from my team.”
Her other best friends are her four-footed pals, Sam and Buca. They give her that “live sparkly” joy every day. Laurie said her favorite Origami Owl piece captures her love for her furry friends, with “the German Shepherd Charm (for Buca, who resembles a German Shepherd), the Labrador Retriever Charm (for Sam), our three birthstones, and the Love My Kids Charm (because they are my kids). My actual lockets may change, but the charms generally stay the same. I just move the charms from locket to locket.”
Laurie’s love for her dogs, her dedication to her Origami Owl team and customers, and her ongoing commitment to making a difference with shoe donations are inspiring! Thanks for showing us how to walk the good path, Laurie!
To help with shoe donations, visit www.dandoamor.org/shoes4love.