Alex Andreou gave this illuminating explanation on the psychology of poverty in his article in The Guardian:
'What I had not understood before I found myself in true poverty is that it means living in a world of “NO.” Ninety-nine percent of what you need is answered “no.” Ninety-nine percent of what your kids ask for is answered “no.” Ninety-nine percent of life is answered “no.” Cinema? No. Night out? No. New shoes? No.
Those in need face such a daunting list of ‘NO’s’ that it creates a “crisis of confidence” when it comes to how they perceive themselves and the world around them. Do they really have what it takes to get their lives back on track? Without much, the task of creating a better future for themselves and their families seems overwhelming. So how can new shoes help those in need change their difficult life circumstances? Consider this:
- Shoes are the key way that people define, project and present themselves to the world. According to research, people pay attention to the shoes they and others wear.
- Shoes are the least donated item. People will give their clothes, toys, coats and food before they donate their shoes. Shoes have such a strong psychological impact on the way people perceive themselves that they are reluctant to part with them.
- Receiving "hand-me-downs" and being relegated to second best is a way of life for those in need. A new pair of shoes says to them that they matter and can gain the confidence, hope and restoration of dignity needed to create a better future for themselves.
This holiday season help to ensure that a thunderous ‘YES’ can be said to a new pair of shoes for more than a 1,000 of the City of Chicago's neediest residents. Help them to resolve to make a positive impact on the future for themselves, their families, and ultimately, their communities through the simple gift of a new pair of shoes.