Heels for Healing event

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PHOENIX - “I have this little substance abuse problem – expensive footwear.” - Carrie Bradshaw

Since 1994, Sex and the City has been making our love of shoes feel a little less sinless, but despite Carrie’s understanding, unforgiving bank accounts can confine us to window-shopping purgatory at department stores. 

Thankfully, Flo’s on 7th is offering a day of reprieve from sky-high prices on Saturday, July 23 with their “Heels for Healing” event.

Heels for Healing sells gently used handbags and shoes of all styles in sizes six to ten (eight and nine being the most common) with the average price set at a guilt-free $35-$40.

“One hundred percent of the proceeds go directly to the charity” Flo’s store manager Melody Mountain said as she sorted through a roomful of donated shoes and handbags by Jimmy Choo, Dior and the legendary Manolo Blahnik. 

When Mountain started Heels for Healing in 2009, she had no idea that the event would play host to such enviable names. 
In fact, the first year Flo’s only publicized Heels for Healing by word of mouth and hand-held fliers. It wasn’t until the event brought in $6000 for their parent charity Florence Crittenton, that they realized the event’s potential.   

Taking their cue from 2009’s success, the following year Melody and the Flo’s staff stepped up their game by advertising on the radio and reaching out to local television stations to raise awareness for their now annual event. The extra effort paid off when the combination of additional donations and publicity earned the charity more than double the funds in 2010 with $14,000. 

While this growth is impressive, it wouldn’t be nearly as meaningful if it were not going to support the Girls Leadership Academy of Arizona, Independent Living and Life Skills, a program that aims to support young women in need. After dealing with her own teenage pregnancy, Mountain understands the value of these organizations and believes they help young girls adapt to the challenges of everyday life.

“Because the program lets them stay in [the residential community] until they’re 21, girls learn how to pay rent, balance a checkbook and be responsible in ways many people take for granted, we’re like a family here,” said Mountain as she scrubbed the remnants of tiny black scuff marks off a pair of banana yellow, patent leather Dior pumps.

Despite the piles of heels around us, I watched her buff away the shoe’s blemishes with fastidious attention to detail. Though this seemed like a meticulous practice at first, I began to realize she was motivated by purpose deeper than simply polishing a customer’s new wardrobe staple. By being so exacting, she was creating $70 worth of value for a cause she strongly believes in.

At these prices feel free to indulge in some feel good shopping because “the fact is, sometimes it's really hard to walk in a single (or any) woman's shoes. That's why we need really special ones now and then to make the walk a little more fun,” according to Carrie Bradshaw.