Skip to content

A Day of Volunteering with Share Your Soles

2015/04/23

sys sign (2)

Last week was National Volunteer Week. I had the pleasure of volunteering with a few ladies from the Women in the World – Chicago travel meetup (formerly Go Girls – Chicago). We spent the day sorting shoes for an amazing organization called Share Your Soles, which sends donated shoes to poor communities all across the world.

sys shack 2

Founder, Mona Purdy, started the charity after seeing impoverished children in Guatemala paint hot tar onto the bottoms of their feet because they didn’t have shoes. She began her organization in 1999 and, over the years, has shipped tens of thousands of pairs of shoes to people in Central America, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, Africa,  the U.S., and Eastern Europe. Mona relies solely (no pun intended) on the efforts of volunteers to clean, repair, and pack shoes and boots for men, women, and children.  I, for one, was happy to do my small part.

sys shoes

Standing in the Share Your Soles warehouse amongst thousands of pairs of shoes, it really brought home how many people around the world go without something that I have always taken for granted. Sure, I’d seen photos and videos of people walking barefoot, but I had no idea that so many adults and children actually have to have their feet amputated due the severity of the injuries and infections that they sustain.

Spending the day at Share Your Soles, was not only an opportunity to take a few hours to give back, but it was a much needed reminder of what one woman can do when she puts her mind to it. Thanks Mona Purdy for being simply amazing!

Random Acts of (holiday) Art -Day 2 of 100happydays.

2014/12/27

giant ornament

As a photographer and a painter, I am always envious of large-scale sculptors or installation artists. It takes a lot of courage to put your work on display for the general public to look at while they are out on the streets shopping or picking up lunch. It takes a special kind of courage to act as a gorilla-artist and put that work on display out in the open without ever being paid for your efforts. In my neighborhood, some unknown artist or group of artists decided to put up this amazing 12-foot holiday ornament complete with colorful lights with the sole intent of spreading a bit of cheer to passersby. I for one am very grateful for their efforts. Thanks random anonymous artist(s), you rock!

PRESENTS! -Day 1 of 100happydays

2014/12/26

day 1

Ah, presents and the joys of gift giving!

Although I am clear that there is so much more to the Spirit of Christmas than buying or making gifts to give to our loved ones, presents are a very big part of the holiday season. When else do we dedicate so much of our time and effort solely to focusing on seeking out clothing, tools, toys, and gadgets purely for the purpose of bringing happiness to others? For various reasons, I personally did not give or get any presents this year, however, I can usually be found getting carried away with gift giving. I love searching for that perfect gift for someone special, scouring for the absolute best rock bottom prices, and gift wrapping myself into a fine frenzy until each and every package looks like a perfect work of art. Now that Christmas is officially over in most parts of the world, it does my heart good to think of the little ones resting comfortably in their beds with visions of their favorite new gift dancing in their dreams. Tomorrow they will awake ready to give that new toy or gift yet another spin. Christmas mavens like myself will also rise early to hit the stores or the internet intent on getting a head start on spotting great bargains on next year’s presents with a bit of a smile and a lightness of heart.

Road Tripping: Best Rest Area Ever

2014/05/01

best-rest-stop-1

On I-75 North somewhere between Florida and Tennessee stands one awesome Georgia rest stop. I suppose it more of a Visitors Center actually, complete with maps, pamphlets, friendly Georgia tourism information agents and exceptionally clean restrooms.

Best-rest-stop-2

The best part is the comfy chill-out area with flat screen tv and groovy leather sofas complete with lumbar support. I’ve got to admit, it was pretty hard to get back behind the wheel of the rental car after stretching my legs in such a swanky rest stop.

best-rest-stop-3

If only I could remember exactly where it is, so that I could be sure to stop back by during my next road trip. Thanks to this place, I’ve definitely “got Georgia on my mind.”

best-rest-stop-4

Have you come across any awesome rest areas on your recent road trips?

Happy Easter Monday!

2014/04/21
cc  photo by zoonabar

cc photo by zoonabar

Today is Easter Monday, also known as Bright Monday or Renewal Monday.

Easter Monday is observed in many areas around the world including Canada, Poland and France. In these countries you’ll find lots of people off from work and out in their neighborhoods enjoying traditions such as Divine Liturgies, religious processions and feasting with family and friends.

My favorite way to spend Easter Monday? Checking out amazing Easter trees on Pinterest. It’s not exactly a tradition, but it is crazy addictive! What’s your favorite Easter activity or tradition?

easter tree pins

(almost) Wordless Wednesday: Looking Up at the Chicago Cultural Center

2014/04/16

Photo by Ramona Pozek
The Chicago Cultural Center’s Bradley Hall showcases the largest Tiffany dome in the world.

Photo by Ramona Pozek
This amazing 38-foot Tiffany glass dome was designed by artist J. A. Holtzer in 1897.

Photo by Ramona Pozek
More information on The Chicago Cultural Center.

The Mural Art of Pilsen: Part 3

2014/04/10

photo by Ramona Pozek

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” -Pablo Picasso

 

photo by Ramona Pozek

photo by Ramona Pozek

photo by Ramona Pozek

photo by Ramona Pozek

 

photo by Ramona Pozek

photo by Ramona Pozek

Single Woman Travels!

Spirituality + Travel = Alchemy of Self

Afros y Paella

An African woman's journey through food, culture and spirit

the RARE belle

a southern gal's guide to all things fabulous in food, fashion, finery and frippery

Frankly English

A great WordPress.com site

France in D.C.

Bringing France to my home and to yours.

dailyfrancofile

a little bit of France each day

Chronicles of a Travel Addict

A happily addicted traveler's stories, photographs, and reflections

pica cordoba

90 DAYS IN EAST TIMOR

Where is Huy?

In May 2013, I decided to quit my job and do something that I've dreamt of doing for a long time. Here you will find posts of my thoughts and pictures on the road as I backpack around the world for the next 1+ year.

Olivia Tan's Thought

random things that I can share

Wanderlust

by Alyssa Jaren

Random Words at Random Times

...about gratitude and how hard it is sometimes to be grateful

englishtravelfashion

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 609 other followers