Souls for Soles: Walk, run or hike to help buy shoes for kids in need

Souls for Soles: Walk, run or hike to help buy shoes for kids in need

Long-time Mustard Seed volunteer Therese Frei is doing a lot of walking this month.

“I try to walk at least six to eight kilometres a day,” the kitchen volunteer says.

Therese is pounding the pavement for a good cause — to raise money for the Mustard Seed’s big back-to-school fundraiser.

“I wasn’t always financially secure, but I had an incredible friends network, and they let me stay in their basement suite, and they helped me with my things. Not everybody is that fortunate, so I think that’s a good way to pay back,” Therese says.

The Mustard Seed’s Souls for Soles Challenge is aiming to raise $20,000 to buy runners for kids as part of the Fair Start program, which helps hundreds of low-income families every year.

“It’s incredibly expensive for kids to go back to school now so kids are getting a backpack, runners, a gift certificate usually from a local grocery store, and of course the school supplies that come prepackaged,” the Mustard Seed’s Janice James says.

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Six hundred families are being helped this year, up from 400 just two years ago, as more families struggle.

You can tackle the June Souls for Soles challenge on your own or as part of a team.

It’s free to register and you can walk, run, or hike your way to the 200 km goal.

“It’s just a fun thing,” Janice says. “You can get a group of 10 or 20 people together and do 10 km, ask for $10 or $20 bucks from everybody, and there you go, you’ve got your 200 km goal.”

Once again, Frontrunners is getting all the shoes for a really reduced cost… and matching donations up to $1,000 so that the money raised can go even further.

“We are supported by the community, and so we like to give back, and youth are definitely the future, so making sure that they have a fair chance to be active and stay healthy, it really makes a difference in the community,” says Nick Walker of Frontrunners.

Therese has already raised more than $1,700 for the challenge.

“She just basically goes up to everyone and asks for money and tells them what she’s participating in, and she’s one of our great kitchen volunteers, so to do this on the side is wonderful,” Janice says. “We really appreciate it!”

Therese has been a Mustard Seed volunteer for 18 years now, and for her, it’s all about giving back and making a difference — one step or kitchen shift at a time.

“I think it makes it a better community,” she says. “The more we help each other, the better our community is.”

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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