Kent Rotary raises $10,000 for local causes

Slipper donations part of community fundraising drive

Kent Rotary collected 1,500 pairs of slippers as part of community fundraiser. COURTESY PHOTO, Rotary Club of Kent

Kent Rotary collected 1,500 pairs of slippers as part of community fundraiser. COURTESY PHOTO, Rotary Club of Kent

The Rotary Club of Kent over the past year raised more than $10,000 to benefit local nonprofits and donated more than 1,500 pairs of slippers to Seattle-based Redeeming Soles.

The “Slipper Initiative” reflects the power of business and nonprofit to work together for the benefit of the community, according to an April 30 Rotary Club of Kent press release.

In February 2020, Kent’s Smart Motorz owner Rafik Kamelman donated more than 2,000 pairs of slipper footwear to Kent Rotary. Slippers ranged in size from toddlers to “big feet,” and came in three colors: purple/gold, crimson/grey, and blue/green.

With the onset of the pandemic, Kent Rotary joined forces with eight Kent-based nonprofits to raise funds directly for their coronavirus relief efforts. Participating organizations included Communities in Schools of Kent, Domestic Abuse Women’s Network (DAWN), Glover Empower Mentoring (GEM), Kent Schools Foundation, Kent Youth and Family Services, Living Well Kent, the YMCA of Greater Seattle – Kent Branch and World Relief Seattle.

As a part of that fundraiser, donors had the option to purchase slippers for donation, and a substantial number of slippers were donated to Redeeming Soles. Kent Rotary delivered approximately 210 pairs of slippers in spring 2020.

Last fall, Kent Rotary organized a second fundraiser, this time in partnership with local Rotary Clubs. Participating clubs included the Rotary Club of Kent, Rotary Club of Kent Sunrise, Rotary Club of Auburn and Rotary Club of Des Moines/Normandy Park. These clubs support many local causes including food insecurity, scholarships, and the Music4Life program in Kent schools.

In total, over $10,000 was raised to benefit local nonprofits. In addition, unsold slippers were donated to Redeeming Soles, where they will be given to King County social services organizations, including DAWN.

Rotary is comprised of individuals who provide service to others, promote professional integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through our global fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders. The Kent Rotary Club meets on Tuesdays at noon.

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