Shoes to Fill: The Red Shoe Society

June 20th, 2013 by John Breerwood

RSS logoAt a recent Wednesdays at the Square event, I ran into a friend who was sporting red shoes along with a nametag that read, “Ask me about my red shoes.” The Wizard of Oz, of course, popped into my head, but I asked the question anyway. Turns out, the movie had nothing to do with her shoes of choice. Instead, they embodied some familiar virtues such as courage and, most importantly, heart.

The Red Shoe Society consists of young professionals that support the Greater New Orleans Ronald McDonald House, which provides temporary accommodations and other supportive services for families with sick children. The Red Shoe Society’s collective mission is to bolster this built-in support system that helps needy families from all over the State of Louisiana. They raise money and awareness by organizing fundraisers, hosting monthly dinners at the house, and networking at events like the weekly festivals at Lafayette Square. They also utilize social media, getting their message out on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Anita Mirchandani, a full-time teacher, says that they are trying hard to grow as an organization. “We have only been around for 1 year. In addition to raising money for the house, our current goal is to get more members. We are really small right now and need to expand.”

RSS kids photoIn order to recruit and raise money, they plan social events where more young professionals have the opportunity to get involved with the cause while expanding their networks. Anita says, “We have social mixers every so often to raise money, like the Cocktails for a Cause event on May 23rd at the Rusty Nail, where 20% of the profits go towards the house.” At places like the Sovereign Pub and Ralph’s on the Park, the volunteers also hold the “Making Ties” happy hour events, which provide young professionals a chance to learn about the organization’s mission and join the charity.

Since the Red Shoe Society consists of teachers, bankers, attorneys, and several other professionals, they remain flexible in scheduling their service around their regular business hours. However, they all come together each month and work hands on at the house. Anita says, “We have a monthly dinner where the members bring in food to the house for the families to eat. So one night a month, they come ‘home’ to a cooked meal after spending an exhausting day at the hospital.”

And, there’s certainly no place like home.