Eastern Cape woman’s dream is to see shoes on everyone’s feet
PE mom steps up footwear drive with distribution of flip flops to needy
Pam Pakade’s childhood desire to have more than two pairs of shoes motivated her to launch campaigns aimed at providing footwear to the needy.
The 39-year-old mother of two from Bethelsdorp in Port Elizabeth’s northern areas recently launched the Flip Flop Drive to collect and distribute 5,000 pairs of flip flops by December 31 to needy children and adults around the country.
“During the lockdown period, I saw how people struggled financially. Together with my mother-in-law, Marie Olifant, I started a soup kitchen to feed the underprivileged.
“Later on, I saw the need among children from the community for school shoes and socks.
“Sometimes I just took a walk to look for barefoot children and put shoes on their feet.
“During that time, we collected and distributed 180 pairs of school shoes and 35 pairs of socks. People even donated high heels and boots,” she said.
I believe that if you have shoes on your feet, you will be ready to tackle anythingPam Pakade
With the summer holiday approaching, she again thought about ideas to distribute summer shoes to the needy.
“About three weeks ago I came up with the idea of collecting flip flops. It is affordable and everyone wears them during summer.
“I believe that if you have shoes on your feet, you will be ready to tackle anything.
“Shoes are an essential item. Many people have different pairs of shoes for every outfit.
“People often wear shoes only for one occasion and never again.
“I know how it is to desire to have more than two pairs of shoes and I think that is where my dream to see shoes on the feet of everyone I see comes from.
“I always said that one day I will have 2,000 pairs of shoes,” Pakade said.
The church at which she is a member, King’s Word Ministries in Port Elizabeth and Plettenberg Bay, helps her with the collection and distribution of the flip flop donations.
Wherever the drive takes me, that is where I will go in terms of donations and distribution
“We aim to collect and distribute 2,500 pairs by the end of November and the rest by December 31. As we collect, we will distribute the flip flops.
“Wherever the drive takes me, that is where I will go in terms of donations and distribution.
“I am looking at safe houses, children’s homes, and even schools in rural areas.
“This seems to be my passion; to help where I can. I have a great support system.
“My husband, my sons, my church, and my entire family help where they can.
“All of us had a challenging year. If it takes one pair of flip flops to put a smile on someone’s face, then I am happy.”
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