Real Estate Rivals Collect Shoes for Children

A spirited company contest raised thousands of dollars and collected new shoes earlier this year.

The Austin and San Antonio branches of the Transwestern real estate company went head-to-head recently to see who could collect the most shoes for Shoes for Orphan Souls.

“Everyone was happy to give,” says Josh Delk, associate vice president and project manager in Austin. “And it helped that it was a very simple idea: just collect shoes.”

Making It Fun

“We started some banter via e-mail between the branches,” says Charlotte Blanchard, office manager at the Austin branch. “We sent pictures of large piles of shoes and cars filled with shoeboxes. We really tried to make it fun.”

Part of the fun was seeing the shoes add up, she notes. “Shoes are something tangible you can actually hold. We were able to see the donations grow.”

The company put out collection boxes and fliers at their properties and sent e-mails to family, friends, and tenants. The drive quickly gained momentum as the competition heated up, Delk says.

Stepping Up to Help

“People started telling vendors, clients, and major companies in San Antonio and Austin what we were doing. Of course, once people hear about a good cause, they’ll really step up,” he says.

San Antonio finished with about 2,200 pairs of shoes, along with another $8,600 in donations. Austin collected 570 pairs and $550. The company is already looking forward to next year’s competition.

We are indebted to the Transwestern teams for their generous contributions to Shoes for Orphan Souls. This touching note from a little Filipino boy named Manel is a great way to say thank you for a job well done:

“A good day to you and may you receive the blessings of God. I would like to thank you for giving me a pair of shoes. It will greatly help me in going to school because I live in the mountain.”

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