Posted by Ryan Mills on Jul 23, 2019
Shoes for Little Souls is a community service project hosted by the Rotary Club of Simi Sunset in partnership with The Samaritan Center and Kohl's Department Store in Simi Valley. The goal is to help homeless (or at risk) families get back-to-school clothing for their children. Children who will be able to feel better about themselves when they return to school next month. The community also comes together to support parents in difficult times. The 17th Annual shopping spree took place on Saturday, July 20, 2019.
This year, the Chair for Shoes For Little Souls, Mike Kort, brought together volunteers from many different organizations. Spearheaded by members of the Rotary Club of Simi Sunset, volunteers from Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce, Soroptomist, Kiwanis Club, Parents from Boy Scouts Troop 698, and several other community volunteers came to support the project. With a total of 39 volunteers, Mike made sure that there was at least one volunteer for every child to help shop.
For an hour before Kohl’s officially opened in the morning, the volunteers escorted the families through a nearly empty store and helped children pick out their favorite items. To help pay for these items, The Rotary Club of Simi Sunset raises funds from events they host throughout the year: Johnna’s High Tea Party in May (a fundraiser that helps a cancer society), The Gator Run (a 5K / 10K race) a couple weeks later, and Simi’s Endless Summer Beer Fest in August (get your tickets HERE). With these funds and in conjunction with a great discount from Kohl’s they were able to provide each child with roughly $250 worth of merchandise for new clothes and shoes.
36 children from 16 families benefitted at this year’s event. A number that has risen dramatically since the community project’s humble beginnings. This is one of those events that really makes you see what Rotary is all about. Volunteers from all walks of life come together to give to children and make an impact on their lives. This is a win/win scenario. Volunteers can see tears of joy in the families, receive hugs from people they just met, and leave with happy hearts. For many volunteers, this is a project in which they will keep coming back.
Many thanks to:
Mike Kort - Community Service Director at the Rotary Club of Simi Sunset (Event Chair)
Chantal Zimmerman - Executive Director at the Samaritan Center of Simi Valley, 
Mireya Villagrana - Assistant Store Manager at Kohl's Department Store in Simi Valley.
All the volunteers!