Soroptimist International of Vista and North County Inland recently donated $500 worth of $25 gift cards to children in Operation Hope’s year-round shelter for homeless families. Soroptimist Co-President Lani Beltrano shares, “I thought it would be rewarding for our club to do something special for homeless children and mothers in our community around the holidays.” Since donations for toys were already plentiful, fellow Soroptimist Kaye Van Nevel, who volunteers at the shelter, came up with the idea of giving gift cards for shoes, boots, and socks around Thanksgiving.

Operation Hope’s Resource Development Director Nicole Ketcher said, “Watching the kids’ faces light up when they heard they will not only be receiving new shoes but will also get to choose the shoe that reflects their own personality was truly heartwarming. Thank you Soroptimists for putting a smile on our kids’ faces and warm shoes on their feet.” Executive Director Kathleen Higgins added, “While we revel in their excitement at receiving new shoes, the best gift is that these kids will go to school looking like their peers, and not appearing homeless. Fitting in is so important to them.”