The charity In Ian’s Boots is thinking of everyone who may be affected by Sandy.
As its name implies, the organization donates footwear to the needy, and Holly Miller, the charity’s co-founder, said she thinks there’s going to be a lot more of them following the storm.
“In the past, when [Hurricane] Irene struck, we were able to render aid to several families along the Perkiomen — some of these people were left with nothing but the shoes on their feet,” Miller said.
She added that she wanted the charity to help people who were affected by this round of terrible weather.
Miller lost her 12-year-old son in January 2010; he died from a traumatic brain injury after he crashed into a ski-lift tower while sledding on a saucer-style sled. He was not wearing a helmet.
“We founded [In Ian’s Boots] to honor our little boy Ian who was killed in January 2010 on a trip with his Boy Scout Troop,” Miller said. “The emergency room personnel found a piece of paper in his snow boot — a Bible verse. It deals with perseverance.”
The verse was from James 1:2-4.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
The charity is something of an extension of Ian’s personality; he was always donating his time, Miller said.
“Oh yes, he loved to give back,” Miller said with a laugh. “He was an only child and one of his favorite things was to give gifts. He worked at the Pottstown Salvation Army, and he attended Westmont Christian Academy, which would help the Salvation Army during Christmas. He was also a Boy Scout and very involved in community outreach.”
Though the organization was founded in July 2010 — six months after Ian’s death — the charity really got off the ground the following year. In 2011, In Ian’s Boots donated 9,000 pairs of shoes to agencies in need, as well as to individuals. This year, In Ian’s Boots has already donated 7,200 pairs of shoes and is forecast to donate about 12,000 pairs of shoes by the end of the year.
Miller, of North Coventry, said she has plenty of shoes in storage — thousands of shoes waiting to be donated to the needy. Currently the shoes are in her basement and her garage and some of the shoes are even being stored in a township-owned building in Coventry Woods Park. (Miller is currently in talks to acquire some warehouse space.
If you need to take some shoes off of the hands of the organization — or if you want to help add to the supply, contact Miller via phone at 610-970-8820; via email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit the website at http://www.iniansboots.org.
Miller said In Ian’s Boots will donate to agencies as well as individuals.
If want to call us, we’ll coordinate with them to donate boxes of shoes,” Miller said. “ Individuals may call us too. Wherever there’s a need, we will gladly help. Our hearts go out to our community.”