SM started out as a shoe store, and it’s not surprising that it would today Share Shoes as one of its advocacies. True to the vision of its late founder, Henry Sy, Sr., The SM Store believes that shoes are essential in one’s journey, as these new pairs of shoes will allow children to dream big and start taking little steps towards achieving their lifelong dreams.
This was evident during the recent Share Shoes distribution program in the little community of Diasan, Isabela. Situated in the far-flung area of Echague, Isabela lies the simple community of Diasan where it is home to around 600 people.
Children and families of this humble community never had the chance step foot in a mall given the long distance, steep terrains and rough roads that one needs to pass through to get into the main city. But through The SM Store’s Share Shoes program, 140 children beneficiaries had the chance to have a first-hand experience of shoe shopping- just like inside a real department store.
“We are here to show the residents that while they may be far from the city, they are never forgotten by SM; that is why we are bringing Share Shoes here.” said Cielito Velasquez, The SM Store Cauayan Assistant Branch Manager.
Through the help of employee volunteers, the classroom of Diasan Elementary School was transformed like a real shoe store. Volunteers assembled shoe racks and filled the room with various shoe styles; sneakers, clogs, flats and slip-ons. And just like real shoppers, kids were assisted by employee volunteers where they happily looked around, tried out shoes and chose their preferred shoe styles.
Employee volunteers also taught the kids about proper hygiene; they washed their feet with soap and water before putting on their new pairs of shoes.
According to Father Carlito Sarte, Social Action Director of the Diocesan Social Action Center of Ilagan (DSAC), these shoes will really go a long way for the children of Diasan as most of them walk on rough roads for at least one hour every day barefoot just to go to school- rain or shine.
Diasan Elementary School Head Teacher Domenador Mayuyo Jr. also mentioned that these new shoes will serve as inspiration for children to go to school every day.
On the other hand, The SM Store also partnered with SM Foundation, Caritas Philippines and DSAC and held a medical mission for the whole community. Families of Barangay Diasan had free access to medical and dental consultations, laboratory tests, X-rays and ECG exams through the aid of SM’s mobile clinic. Most of the little children and elderly were also given free medicines.
The SM Store’s Share Shoes is part of the SM Share Movement campaign, one of the ways that SM and its customers team up to support and donate to little communities like Barangay Diasan.