Chicagoan Mona Purdy is Honored in Sri Lanka for Humanitarian Efforts

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Mona Purdy's 'Share Your Soles' Organization Has Delivered Thousands of Shoes to Impoverished Communities Worldwide

We are inspired by the story of Share Your Soles and how Ms. Purdy brings tens of thousands of pairs of shoes to desperately impoverished people throughout the world without consideration of boundaries and borders

Mona Purdy, Founder and Director of Share Your Soles - the Chicago-based non-profit organization dedicated to providing shoes to impoverished communities worldwide - this month was awarded with the 2009 Special Award for Service to Humanity by Sri Lanka's The Foundation for Civilian Bravery.

The Foundation for Civilian Bravery - a non-profit organization now established by Act of Parliament No. 4 of 2009 - is dedicated to recognizing civilians who voluntarily risk their lives to save the lives of others. The Foundation has awarded medals of bravery to these civilians at an annual ceremony since 1993, and since 1995 the ceremony has been held at the national level under the patronage of a diplomat.

"We are inspired by the story of Share Your Soles and how Ms. Purdy brings tens of thousands of pairs of shoes to desperately impoverished people throughout the world without consideration of boundaries and borders," said Kasun P. Chandraratne, president and founder of The Foundation for Civilians Bravery. "It is almost impossible to understand how an individual could drive such a complex project, now turning into a worldwide organization."

Since 1999, Mona Purdy and Share Your Soles has collected and delivered more than 600,000 pairs of shoes to needy communities around world, including Central America, Southeast Asia, The Caribbean, Appalachia, Africa, Eastern Europe, American Indian Reservations, and India.

"I'm greatly honored to accept this award from The Foundation for Civilians Bravery. Shoes seem like such a small thing, but when you realize how much impact one pair of shoes can have, you realize that you are changing lives. With every pair of shoes I deliver, I know I am helping to make people's lives better, one by one, every day. This is what Share Your Soles is all about," said Purdy.

ABOUT SHARE YOUR SOLES
Share Your Soles is a non-profit organization 501(c)(3). The mission is simple: To provide gently worn shoes to those in greatest need around the world. Share Your Soles has touched the hearts of hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide. Volunteers in more than 30 states have organized shoe drives and special events in their schools and communities to help provide the support necessary to put shoes on the soles of children and adults in the most impoverished areas of the world. Share Your Soles manages volunteers who process and package shoes for shipment to people in dire need throughout the United States and around the world. More than 600,000 shoes have been distributed to people for whom shoes mean transportation, improved health, education and a job. Share Your Soles is not affiliated with any government, church, political group or other organization. For more information, please visit http://www.ShareYourSoles.org.

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Genesa Garbarino
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