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This morning I had a visitor in my office and he looked at the collage of cards, photos and letters behind my desk.  

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It tells so many stories: friendships formed through travels and partnerships, work we have done here near and far and countless thank you’s and notes from people I may never meet, but I feel like I know already .  He noticed a photo of Audrey Hepburn and asked what it was about, so I read the poem that accompanied the photograph.

“For Attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
 For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
 For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
 For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day.
 For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. 
 People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.  Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.” 

― Sam Levenson

After I finished reading it, my friend looked back up at the bulletin board and said to me, “so if you are having a bad day, all you need to do is look behind you”.

He is a smart man.

Coats, coats and more coats.  Macy’s donated 30K coats to Soles4Souls this winter to distribute to people in need right here in the US!  For one of the coldest winters on record, this has been a GIGANTIC blessing  right here in America!  My job lately is to make sure they get to the people that need them, which is a lot of work, but it has been pretty phenomenal to see how the dots connect together at just the right time for these coats to find a good home! 

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Like today.

I called Sabathani Community Center to see if they would want a donation of brand-new coats! (you are probably thinking “who wouldn’t?” but you would be surprised at how many people turn down donations).

After a short conversation of reacquainting ourselves (we distributed shoes there about 3 years ago), I asked her if she could use 600 coats and held my breath. I was waiting for the “we don’t have storage for these”, “we really don’t need that many coats”, or just a “no”.

But she squealed!  Her whole demeanor changed!  She said to me, “it is subzero here, dark and freezing cold and I feel like the sun just started shining!  You made our week!  Send them our way!”

I really can say that every day I am amazed at what I am a part of here at Soles4Souls.  I am just thankful I made a phone call to Sandra today, so we can help to keep Minneapolis warm.

This is Amber.  She traveled with Soles4Souls to Honduras in November 2013.  It was the first time Amber had ever seen the ocean, been on an airplane or traveled outside of the US.  Amber is a single mom and she left her little girl Kimber to come and spend 5 days with us distributing shoes. She was an inspiration to all of us, traveling like a pro, open to all the experiences that week, having the most positive attitiude about everything she came into contact with.  During our visit to the village of Monte Los Olivos, Amber met a group of little girls who had recently had all of their hair cut off because of lice.  When they were treated and had their hair cut off, they cried.  When they met Amber, they were immediately drawn to her because of her short hair.  I will never forget watching those little girls trail after her, just smitten with her…over something as simple as a similar haircut.

They reached out and bonded with her because they felt a common denominator.  It is amazing to me that everywhere we go and with everyone we come into contact with, we can chose to connect because of a common denominator.  Love is amazing like that: in this big world we find the smallest thing to bind us together.  

I believe we can always find a common denominator.  If we don’t, WE lose out on amazing experiences.  FIND the common denominator today.

Hey Y’all….Valentimes Day is next Friday. You should come see us play at The Whipporwill . Bring yourself (and your friends or special lovie) and come eat, drink and be merry and enjoy some music. Even if you don’t have a Valentime, come anyway. You might meet a Valentime there…or we will be your Valentime. I will give you chocolate if you come see us. I will hand out an M&M to every person who comes through the door, one M&M per hand. So, you are guaranteed 2 M&M’s for Valentimes, which is more than a lot of people get. See you next Friday.

Hey Y’all….Valentimes Day is next Friday. You should come see us play at The Whipporwill . Bring yourself (and your friends or special lovie) and come eat, drink and be merry and enjoy some music. Even if you don’t have a Valentime, come anyway. You might meet a Valentime there…or we will be your Valentime. I will give you chocolate if you come see us. I will hand out an M&M to every person who comes through the door, one M&M per hand. So, you are guaranteed 2 M&M’s for Valentimes, which is more than a lot of people get. See you next Friday.