Shoe Drive Success
The Parma Commission on Aging (PCOA) fundraising shoe drive has been a smashing success and is thanks to the dozens of people who have donated as well as the dozens of volunteers who have sorted and bagged the shoes. In fact, we are happy to announce that it was so successful, we will continue collecting through Friday, June 10th. Any and all types of shoes are accepted.
There is a collection bin outside our doors and a collection box in our lobby. In collaboration with the nonprofit Funds2Orgs, shoes that are donated will be redistributed to a network of micro-entrepreneurs in developing nations. Funds2Orgs helps impoverished people start, maintain, and grow businesses in countries such as Haiti, Honduras and in Central American and African countries. One budding businesswoman even earned enough to send her son to law school. “We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has helped us exceed our goal,” says Julia Varley, PCOA President. “The monies we raise support programming and activities at the Donna Smallwood Senior Center.” The goal was to collect 100 bags of 25 shoes per bag. Staff and volunteers sorted pairs of shoes, secured them with rubber bands, bagged them, and helped carry them to our basement. Funds2Org will collect the bags when our campaign concludes after June 10th.
The PCOA was created under the leadership of Donna Smallwood in 1988 and was visionary as far as how we are able to partner and apply for grant funding to complement our activities and services. A great example is the monthly Technology Help Desk which has been extremely popular with our members and paid for by our PCOA.
Additionally, because of donations, our PCOA has been able to bring Tri-C Encore 55 Classes here to the senior center in June. Every Monday (and Tuesday, June 21st) at Noon, there will be a different class beginning June 6th with TV Game Show Fun. June 13th will be all about The Sixties. June 21st will be fun with Name That Tune and on June 27th you can learn more about Backstage Broadway.
PCOA has also partnered with another nonprofit Simply Virtual to provide free tablets to seniors in our community who need to be connected. The eligibility requires 1) a membership to the senior center, 2) no smartphone, and 3) no computer or working computer at home. One-on-One training and technology assistance will be provided. Training through the Cuyahoga County Public Library is also an option. Anyone eligible and interested should contact Kathryn Karney-Davidson at 440-885-8155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You would think after the pandemic that there would be no shoes in your closet left to donate but there are shoes out there that you will never wear again so please consider donating them to us. Again, There is a collection bin outside our doors and a collection box in our lobby and we are located behind City Hall and next to the CCPL Parma-Powers branch.
Erin Lally is the Director of the Donna Smallwood Activities Center and Office on Aging