Last August a friend of mine texted me asking if I wanted to go on a Shooze Cruise with her, to which I replied, “What’s a Shooze Cruise?”
She came back quickly with, “Just be at the Seaport by 6:30 on Wednesday night. I already got your ticket. Just bring a pair of new mens’ shoes.”
Being that I worked at Simons, and we were gearing up for our summer clearance sale, picking up a pair of mens’ shoes was not a problem. That being said, I still didn’t entirely know what I was walking into.
I met my friend at the harbor at the appointed time and learned, not surprisingly, that we were going on a boat. We got in line with a bunch of other snazzily dressed folks, all with shoe boxes in hand, and were soon escorted onto the Provincetown II. Once aboard we were immediately met with lots and lots of shoes; shoes hanging from the rafters, shoe boxes stacked in neat row, shoes in piles being sorted by volunteers. O.m.g. Shoes.
It turns out that a Shooze Cruise is an evening Boston Harbor cruise, complete with drinks, dancing, and free food; the cost of entry being a $40 ticket and a new pair of mens shoes. The main purpose of the evening is to collect shoes and raise money for Boston's St. Francis House; the largest homeless day shelter in the state Massachusetts.
If you’ve spent any time downtown around Boylston Street, either on your way over to Chinatown, or to catch a show in the theater district, you have probably passed by St. Francis House without even realizing it.
The building may seem somewhat nondescript, but inside these walls hundreds of lives are changing, every single day, for the better. St. Francis House operates 365 days a year. Every single day, an average of 500 homeless and poor individuals are given access to food, shelter, clothing, and medical care. Along with just meeting those basic needs, St. Francis House also provides mental health counseling, vocational training, help finding affordable housing, and even affordable housing itself (the top 4 floors are all rented apartments).
Some of the donated shoes from St. Francis House, meticulously cataloged and organized by hard-working volunteers.
If there’s anything at all that can be done to help a homeless individual get back on their feet, then surely St. Francis House has done it or is doing it right this minute.
Speaking of "feet”, let’s talk shoes. Shoes are important. You LIVE in your shoes. When you’re homeless, that matters even more. St. Francis House provides shoes to hundreds of men and women throughout the year. And where do those shoes come from?
At Simons, we’re always looking for ways to give back. Changing someone’s day --someone’s life -- with shoes is what we strive to do. That’s why Simons is proud to present the exclusive St. Francis House Collection, where you can purchase a pair of new shoes for a gentleman in need at St. Francis House. We will provide the Shooze Cruise with proof of your purchase in order for you to board the ship, and send the shoes directly to St. Francis House on your behalf
This year’s Shooze Cruise is Wednesday August 9th. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased by clicking on the image below. Support a legitimately worthy cause and see for yourself what the Shooze Cruise is all about. We’ll see you aboard!