Podiatrist Responds to Community Needs with Shoe Drive
In the last three years Dr. Michele Summers Colon has received over 3,000 pairs of shoes, which she has donated to various community organizations, including Souls 4 Soles, a local and global program which helps to get shoes to survivors of the recent Los Angeles County fires and the Oklahoma tornado disaster.
Soles 4 Souls, based in Nashville, has partnered with Dr. Colon to be a drop-off location making it easy for the San Gabriel Valley to donate shoes, and help those in need. “Souls 4 Soles has helped millions of people around the world, and in LA County,” said El Monte podiatry practice owner, Dr. Colon. “I fully believe in their cause.”
In 2011, Souls 4 Soles set a goal to collect 11 million pairs of shoes, and they exceeded their goal with 13 million pairs of shoes. Along with collecting shoes at their distribution center in City of Industry, whenever there’s a natural disaster shoes get sent to that specific area, but when there’s not a natural disaster the shoes gets distributed all over the world.
“Our El Monte podiatry office is getting ready for a summer shoe donation drive,” said Dr. Colon. “We expect to collect more than 1,500 pairs by teaming up with the local Girl Scouts, and we are inviting the community to donate shoes or provide monetary sponsorship for the one dollar equals one pair of shoes program.”
The participating Girl Scout troop will be able to earn a badge for getting involved in the community service effort. Once the shoes have been bound up in pairs and boxed they will be separated by category, and sent to areas that are in the most need of shoes.
As a practicing podiatrist for the last 15 years, Dr. Colon, age 44, got her start in shoe donation programs that benefited homeless veterans when she earned her Master’s degree and DPM degree at Barry University in Miami in 1992. “It’s one way I give back to the community,” said Dr. Colon.
In 1997, when she became a practicing podiatrist in El Monte, Dr. Colon felt a strong connection to the bilingual Spanish speaking community. With Peruvian family roots she decided she wanted to give back to the under-served community.
Along with being the only San Gabriel Valley podiatrist in the Souls 4 Soles drop-off campaign she also participates in the El Monte Rotary “Happy Feet” program providing shoes to children in the local school district.
“My goal in the community is to serve people, and help them feel a pain free life when it comes to their feet,” said Dr. Colon. “I want my podiatry practice to give people in the community the best and safest options to treat their feet.” More information can be found at thehttp://www.elmontefootdoctor.com/ Web site, the podiatry practice Twitter handle: @socalfootdoc, and on Facebook.com/drmichelesummerscolondpm.