Shoes: From Tattered to Treasured
“We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.” –Nelson Mandela
It all started with a conversation a few years ago between local woman Amber Moore and a Corona schoolteacher. The teacher shared with Amber stories of children whose shoes were too small. Her heart broke as she was told about the teasing these children experienced due to their lack of provisions. It hit home when a specific story the teacher shared was centered on a young boy from Amber’s neighborhood. It sparked in Amber a mission to help not just this child, but all children who suffered as he did. A motivating anger exploded inside of her: “I was becoming angry that there were kids living in surrounding neighborhoods that were going without that which most of our children have more than enough of.” With this anger, she embarked on a journey to provide not only shoes and socks, but love and compassion for families that struggle to cover their children’s soles.
Amber’s first mission began when she and a friend walked into a Corona elementary school with 32 pairs of shoes. The story of that first child changed her life and is still changing lives today. “As I sat on my knees in front of each child, removing the old torn and worn out shoes, most of whom were without socks on a cold, rainy day, I prayed silently in my head.” She was inspired and went on to give away almost 1,000 pairs of shoes over a four-year period. Her shoe mission has opened her heart to thousands of children with devastating stories about abuse and abandonment.
Driven to make a difference, Amber started the Kozy Toez organization. Her main goal is to provide new shoes to children in local communities. Kozy Toez is compassionately unique because members go the extra mile to physically reach out and hold the feet of each child in their hands. This gentle touch and one-on-one experience opens up the opportunity to show each child love through a gift of new socks and shoes, ensuring that all toes are protected, warm, and “kozy.”
Amber’s love for children and change has opened up doors for her in many places. She has successfully followed her heart in blessing children in three schools in Corona, five schools in Orange County, the Speech and Language School for Disabled Children and Adults (one of her favorites), two non-profit preschools, and three shelters for families in transition. Every single pair of shoes has been personally purchased by Amber, who receives donations from friends, local businesses, and recently, a local non-profit in Orange County, all of whom have passionately contributed to putting smiles on the faces of amazing children. The smiles her organization has brought is endless and will continue with support.
Find out more about Kozy Toez, Amber’s vision and how you can help at www.kozytoez.org.
Sabrina Short, Staff Writer