In My Shoes: Installment 1

In our “In My Shoes” series, we take a look at the stories of ordinary people in our community, those who provide help through LSSND and those who receive the organization’s services.

The shoes

Black flip flops with sparkly silver straps

The story

Cari works for LSSND in Disaster Response and Humanitarian Services. While her shoes may look lighthearted, her work is serious. But that’s part of why Cari loves her shoes.

“I chose them because they’re sparkly, and also because they have this yoga foam,” she began, gesturing to the comfortable material of the sole. Cari also just loves flip flops—she has a collection of them.

The significance of these particular sparkly sandals?

“One of the things I think is important is, because I work in two heavy areas—disaster response and humanitarian services—there are so many hard places and hard conversations, so it’s important to find moments when you can laugh, when you enjoy and appreciate the good things in life,” Cari said.

In her areas of service, she hears many difficult stories and experiences tough situations. So even though she works in these areas where she sees a lot of bad things happen, she remembers the positive possibilities and the rebuilding that is also an integral part of life. “The shoes have sparkle, and that reminds me that life is not all bad.”

Cari has had the shoes for several years, and they’ve accompanied her on various important journeys in her work. While she uses an old pair of sneakers out in the field for disaster work, she’s also worn her sparkly sandals when meeting with people and heading to places in need of help

“In the summer, I’ve traveled to places that have had disasters, and I’ve worked with children—spiritual and emotional recovery with children,” Cari said. Among other places, her shoes have been to Ferguson when they had civil unrest, and Oklahoma after a tornado—areas with recent disasters to which she has provided aid.

So to walk a mile in Cari’s shoes might be hard, but their sparkle and comfort remind her that while disasters happen, healing does too.

Compiled by: Michelle Foster, Communications

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