In early March, Iona was contacted by Karen Widmayer, daughter of Dr. S. H. Friedman, who owned Public Shoe Store in Arlington. After more than 70 years in business, Public Shoe Store was closing its doors. And, now, Karen was looking for a trusted nonprofit to take their bounty of orthopedic shoes. Iona, of course, jumped at the opportunity.
Thanks to this unusual gift, Iona’s social workers and care managers have been able to provide new shoes to any client in-need, totally free of charge. To help distribute the shoes, Iona hosted a special “pop-up” shoe market at Regency House, the only low-income public housing option for older adults in Ward 3. With 85 pairs of shoes in tow, we were able to find perfect fits for more than 50 residents. Says Joan Curry, who received a pair of loafers, “My goodness, these are comfortable. If I could do the happy dance, I would!”
All told, Iona received close to 300 pairs of shoes, valued at more than $45,000. In addition to our clients, Iona has shared this generous donation with other senior services agencies in the District. We will continue to share our bounty as supplies last.
Written by Rosie Aquila
Rosie Aquila is Iona’s Communications and Marketing Manager. A graduate of Kenyon College (where she worked as editor for the college’s newspaper), Rosie joined Iona’s team in 2014.