If the Shoes Fit

The Mustard Seed Warehouse Facilitator Elena recounts a memorable experience she had with a gentleman who desperately needed a new pair of shoes at the Personal Assistance Centre.

Working at the Personal Assistance Centre (PAC) has given me a chance to work one-on-one with a lot of community participants in need. Every month, we have over 1,000 people use PAC for free clothing, hygiene items or small household items.

I love that I get to be the person that helps people find the items they so desperately need.

I particularly remember one gentleman who came into the Personal Assistance Centre one day looking for a pair of shoes. What first struck me about him was the way he was walking. He was hobbling through the aisles of the free clothing store. He looked like he was in pain. When I approached him, I realized immediately his problem was not a physical disability. The poor man was wearing female sneakers that were too small for his feet. The pain of each step he had to take in his shoes was etched on his face.

The man began to tell me that his shoes were stolen on the streets the night before and these were the only shoes he could find to wear. He was desperate for another pair of shoes in his size. Anything would do.

My heart immediately wanted to help this man, but I noticed we didn’t have his particular size on the shelf. I was determined not to let this man leave and began hunting for shoes. I went into the back of the warehouse, and by the grace of God, I found not only the perfect size of sneakers, but what appeared to be a near brand new pair of shoes!

When I brought the shoes to the man he began to immediately cry with gratitude. He kept hugging me saying “thank you!” He put on the shoes right there and then and said he never had such a nice pair of shoes before. I was so glad that he no longer had to walk around in pain.

I realized after this man left how easy it is take what we have for granted. I am so happy to have met this man and am very glad we could help him!

If you would like to donate items to our Personal Assistance Centre, please feel free to drop off your donation Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.