MADISON, NJ -- Despite COVID-19 discouraging many activities, it has not stopped a few from giving back. At Madison & Main Advisors (MMA), a shoe drive is underway for those less fortunate until May 20.
MMA is a holistic financial planning firm that serves individuals, families, businesses and institutions globally. Gary Borowiec, a Denville councilman and chief executive officer of MMA who has been in the financial services business for 30 years, opened MMA's Madison office just last year. About five years ago, MMA conducted a shoe drive at its Cranford-based office and collected approximately 700 pairs. This year, the staff wants to collect 1,000 pairs by Memorial Day.
The donated shoes will be distributed by Soles4Souls, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that collects new and used shoes and clothing to be donated to people in need. Since its formation in 2006, Soles4Souls has distributed more than 30 million in more than 127 countries, including Kenya, Thailand, Nepal, Haiti, Japan and the United States.
“This is our first charity event since our [Madison] office opened in July of 2019,” said Borowiec. “We plan on doing more to give back to people in need. We are planning to host a 5K charity run/walk in the fall with the charity to be determined.”
Although this shoe drive occurs during a difficult time, Borowiec still sees a silver lining for this charity effort.
“In light of the unfortunate outbreak of the coronavirus, we realize it will probably make it harder to reach our goal of 1,000 pairs of shoes,” said Borowiec. “However, perhaps with people having to remain at home and with people inherently wanting to help others, maybe it’s a good time for people do some spring cleaning and rid their closets of extra shoes. Sometimes it just feels good to do good. And right now, more than ever, we all need something to feel good about.”
Currently, MMA has collected about 200 pairs over the past three weeks. Anyone who wishes to drop off shoes can deposit them in drop-off boxes at the Denville Town Hall at 1 St. Marys Place and the Madison YMCA at 111 Kings Road.
“Since the drop-off locations are all temporarily closed due to the current lockdown, I’d recommend that people just gather up their shoes now and then either drop them at the boxes or they can send me an email at email@example.com, and someone from my staff would be happy to pick up the donation off your porch when the lockdown is lifted,” said Borowiec.
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