Littles Shoes made a big impact during the Passover holiday. Between April 22 and 24, the Forbes Avenue shoe store donated 150 pairs of Naot shoes to the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry.
The Squirrel Hill-based store’s donation followed a promoted campaign in which Littles agreed to donate one pair of Naot shoes to the food pantry for every pair tried on, and two pairs for every pair purchased, during the in-store event.
“It went nicely,” said Joel Sigal, owner of Littles Shoes. “A lot of people came in just for us to make donations.”
The idea for donating shoes to the food pantry was developed three weeks prior during a conversation with Naot owner Steve Lax, said Sigal. “We were just talking about some of the things going on … and we went through the whole idea.”
Lax is “pretty philanthropic,” said Sigal. “The company itself is pretty wonderful, they just do phenomenal things around the country by donating shoes to different organizations, and he just thought it was another way to give back.”
Naot and Littles have collaborated before, explained Sigal, who added that bringing in the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry was wonderful.
“I love the food pantry,” he said. “I think it does amazing things in our community and it’s done very quietly. I think they make people feel pretty nice. … People don’t walk in there and feel like it’s charity; they make the people feel like people.”
Matthew Bolton, director of the food pantry, appreciated the donation and praised Sigal’s assessment of the organization.
“The Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry is a resource for more than food assistance,” Bolton said via email. “People who come to us for food often need and qualify for other social services. Distributing shoes in partnership with Littles Shoes further demonstrates that we’re here to help our clients in any way we can. We are so grateful to Littles Shoes for their continued generosity and compassion for people in need in our community.”
As for the timing of the event, Sigal said that he specifically chose the holiday weekend.
“I thought that Passover was a good opportunity to do it, because we usually get a lot of out of town people to come in and spend the holiday with their families,” he said.
With so many pairs of Naot shoes headed toward the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry, Sigal said that the event went so well that he would consider setting foot on a similar venture in the future.
“All in all it worked out great,” he said. “Hopefully we will do something like this again down the road.”
Adam Reinherz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.