Shortly after the launch of our fall 2016 Sole Saving Shoe Drive, Tristen Paige (founder of Turning Paiges) had the most wonderful spontaneous interaction with her 8 year old daughter. One that provides an inspiration and example for us all.
Waiting in the school carpool line, Tristen watched her daughter, Laila, eagerly skip toward the car. Grinning from ear to ear, Laila opened the car door and, before she could even slide all the way into the back seat, she was recounting her day.
"Mommy, guess what?" Laila asked excitedly.
"What baby?" Tristen replied as she pulled out of the school driveway.
"I did a presentation to my entire 3rd grade class about Turning Paiges and us raising shoes for SOLE SAVING!" Laila squealed proudly. "My entire class wants to participate and my teacher is going to allow me to present to the other four 3rd grade classes so that the whole 3rd grade can help raise shoes for the homeless. That's 61 students so I need 4 Sole Saving drop boxes, one for each class, and 61 Turning Paiges stickers to pass out, one to each student. Oh, and I told them they can find you on Facebook and Instagram."
Tristen was surprised and amazed that her daughter, who was only days into a brand new school where she didn't really know anyone, had taken it upon herself, with no prompting or preparation, to present to her class about Turning Paiges' shoe drive Sole Saving. And the result?
Laila's heartfelt pitch got stellar results! Her boldness to speak up and speak out for those in need was rewarded with a moving response. Her presentation aimed at getting her peers exciting about giving started in her classroom, spread to all of the third classes, and a week later has inspired her entire elementary school to join in raising shoes for Sole Savings shoe drive benefiting homeless, at risk youth, survivors of domestic violence, and Louisiana flood victims. That's huge! One child, small in size but big in heart, used her voice to be a powerful advocate for change, service and love. Her single act moved her teachers, principal, peers, and their families to act.
This is not the first time this child has felt lead to help others. In 2013, Laila was inspired to have a group of her friends craft and color on the paper bags to be used for a feed the homeless endeavor. She named that act, "Laila Loves" and her own personal charity was born. Her logo consist of two hands with hearts in the palm representing her selfless willingness to use her hands and heart to meet the needs of others. To learn more about how this 8 year old is inspiring generations both younger and older while loving people back to wholeness follow her on Instagram @Laila_Loves.
Never underestimate the power of one. One voice, one ask, one act of kindness. One has the power to change the lives of many and Laila is proof.