One Step at a Time – Jeanne’s Story

Many years ago when I was a young teacher, I drove a student home after a school performance only to discover he lived in a migrant camp. He and his siblings shared shoes. This experience would change my life forever.

Growing up in a family with eight children, I learned from our parents about giving. When I was a little girl, my mom gave me a book, The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. I learned from this book and my parents: The true meaning of love is in giving.

One day, my sister, Mary Myrmo, and I watched a film called “Children from Heaven.” This film was about two children who shared one pair of shoes because they were so poor. Realizing kids were sharing shoes in our community, we took action. We started to collect new shoes and deliver them to needy kids at local schools. When I was asked to give a motivational speech, I would request one pair of new shoes to be donated. One of the very first groups to collect shoes was the Boy Scouts. I will never forget walking in and finding all fifteen boys, each holding a new pair of shoes.

Over 150,000 new shoes later with a volunteer board of directors, and countless volunteers and supporters, through speaking engagements, Shoe Drives, and Shoe Parties, Laces of Love has been able to help many needy children one step at a time.

Jeanne Nealon
Co-Founder and President

Ubi-Caritas-est- vera-Deus-ibi-est
“Where True Charity and Love Dwell, God himself is there.”

– Servant Song/St. Williams Church