Prepare yourselves: this isn’t your typical Fit Chicks post. While this particular edition of FC won’t hip you to a new pair of fly trainers or a super healthy menu, it’s more about feeding your soul and - through our experience - reminding us all that giving back is the best way to be fit in spirit.
Ok, so we were both in need a of pretty big dose of R&R over the holidays which, as you’ve probably noticed, resulted in a small break for our Fit Chicks posts. But, that doesn’t mean we weren’t busy. Operation Care, an organization dedicated to serving the needy in our communities and worldwide, holds its Annual Christmas Party for the DFW Homeless Community every December. This particular event is very near and dear to our hearts. It all started in 2008 when my student mentoring group ( L3 Mentors) decided to make this event their annual December community service event and got even better in 2011 when we invited Channing of CNK Daily to join in on the fun.
With so many ways to serve there is a little something for everyone. For one day in December, a giant hall at the Dallas Convention Center is transformed into a special place for the city’s homeless population to receive a number of the things we may take for granted. Hot meals, toys for kids, haircut stations, and - where we’ve worked for the past few years - the foot washing/shoe station. Here, volunteers get the chance to pray with each individual as we wash their feet and fit them for a new pair of shoes. Over the years, we’ve found ourselves serving directly with families and small children in the station operated by Soles for Kidz.
Soles for Kidz is a non profit organization that was founded in October 2005 by the pretty awesome Savage family who have been bringing their blessings to Operation Care for nine years. What started with 23 pairs of shoes to give out to children in need has now blossomed into over 40,00 pairs of shoes distributed to at risk children in the Dallas/Fort Worth area as well as in the Phillipines, Guatemala, Africa, and India. Each year, volunteers gather at their station for family foot washing which provides an entire family with new pairs of shoes.
It takes a lot of people to really pull this together. Whether donating shoes or funds to collect the quantity necessary to provide all in need with a pair or volunteering your time as a runner, a foot washer, a sorter, or an inventory lead; each role is important and getting to see each family receive their shoes and a warm smile/prayer is a feeling you will never forget. I think each year we leave more blessed than the attendees. We are forever grateful for the opportunity to fill our hearts with such an amazing experience. Fitness for the soul, definitely.