When Santa Cruz was rattled by those January storms, Sockshop & Shoe Co. lept into action, donating over 240 pairs of shoes to the Walnut Avenue Family & Women’s Center.
The Women’s Center, which has been dedicated to improving the quality of life for women, children, and families in Santa Cruz County since 1988, offers a range of programs. Geared towards ending cycles of trauma across the County, they offer free domestic violence crisis intervention advocacy, peer counseling services, and early education centers for low-income families and teen parents.
The donation was met with open arms as the Women’s Center was able to offer some much-needed support to those affected by this year’s weather extremes.
Almost everyone can resonate with that feeling of wearing a brand new pair of shoes.
— Julie P. Macecevic, Executive Director of the Women’s Center
Julie P. Macecevic, Executive Director of the Women’s Center, expressed her appreciation for the donation, stating that “the gift of new, high quality items for families who may not be able to spend that kind of money on shoes or socks is priceless. Almost everyone can resonate with that feeling of wearing a brand new pair of shoes.”
The Women’s Center recognizes the exceptional generosity of their local downtown businesses, particularly Sockshop & Shoe Co., who have been a longtime ally in their mission to create a violence-free, inclusive, and equitable community. When working to create access and equity in a County with the highest costs of living in the nation, local support has shown to be a necessary building block.
Sockshop owners Eric and Ellen Gil explained that their philosophy of “what goes around comes around” motivates them to invest in civic giveback opportunities, such as this donation. Having operated in Santa Cruz since 1993, they understand the value of focusing their efforts locally.
We hope that by providing some quality comfortable shoes to those in need, we might provide some stability for our neighbors.
— Ellen Gil, Sockshop & Shoe Co.
Ellen adds, “There’s a level of understanding with our customers. They know that shopping locally with us gives us the chance to then turn around and support our community. Whether it’s the Women’s Center or our annual Hospice Santa Cruz fundraiser or our staff, we can donate back to the community at a higher rate than big businesses.”
Due to the size of the donation, Walnut Avenue Front Office Manager, Gloria Quiroz continues to hand out shoes to their participants. Quiroz shares, “some [recipients] expressed how much it meant to them to have a pair of quality shoes they never would have been able to buy due to their hardships.”
The donation from Sockshop & Shoe Co. highlights the importance of local businesses and their ability to make a significant impact in their communities. It is a testament to the power of community and the value of supporting organizations dedicated to improving the lives of our neighbors in Santa Cruz County.