You know folks, the universe has a funny way of using people to fulfill a greater purpose. That is the only way that I can explain the events that transpired over the last month. It all started about 6 weeks ago when I began hearing a number of my friends braggin’ on FlipFlop wines. Part of what piqued my interest in that particular brand was that for every bottle of wine they sold, a pair of shoes was donated to the Soles4Souls shoe charity and distributed to those in need. I’ll admit, I love it when things that I would buy normally also happen to benefit a charity. It’s an easy way to give back to the community. I like buying Christmas presents from the Humane Society and St. Jude Children’s Hospital, so why not also buy a wine that puts shoes on the feet of those in need?
When I went to the Underdog Wine Merchants website to order a bottle, I was sad to see that they didn’t ship to North Carolina yet. Not to be deterred, I contacted FlipFlop wines to express my interest in trying their wines and one week later, there were three glorious bottles at my doorstep, courtesy of FlipFlop wines. While I was sightly surprised to see a twist top instead of a cork, I kept an open mind and boy, am I glad that I did. The first wine that we tried was the Pinot Grigio and it was fantastic! If you can believe it, even the Irishman (the consummate beer drinker) had two glasses and commented on the crisp and clean flavor. I don’t think I have ever seen him actually enjoy a glass of wine before.
One of the things that I love about FlipFlop wines is the cheeky way that they keep from taking themselves too seriously (as a lot of wines and wine drinkers do). My bottle of Pinot Grigio advertised that it paired well with Bruschetta, Eggplant Parmesan or my favorite tacos (and you know how we love tacos here)!
The next wine that we tried, the Pinot Noir, was my favorite of the three. Having gone
almost a year without indulging in a good wine (thanks to my pregnancy), I think I might have even swooned when I tasted this one. It was as delicious as it was beautiful, with a smooth finish and the slightest hint of cherries. I’m pretty sure that I need another
case bottle of this immediately. In fact, I’m wishing that I had another glass of it in hand right. about. now.
The third and final wine that we tried was the Riesling. I wasn’t quite as crazy about this one, but that might be because I was already so impressed with the Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir. Don’t get me wrong, we still polished off the bottle (which is why there’s no picture) and it definitely holds its own against other Rieslings, but it just didn’t have the “wow” factor for me that the other two had.
When I sent a thank you email to the folks over at FlipFlop wines, I received a reply email informing me about a contest they were about to launch with their good friends over at the shoes charity, Soles4Souls. This contest, The Flippin’ Good Deeds Challenge, encourages bloggers to host a shoe drive in their community. What’s more, the winner of the challenge will get to travel with the good folks over at Soles4Souls to distribute shoes to those in need.
Now, you all know how I feel about a good challenge. What’s more, within hours (literally) of getting that email from FlipFlop wines, I was invited to be on a university committee in charge of launching a year-long initiative to combat global poverty. You see what’s coming next, right? Clearly, it was serendipitous. I mean, who am I to fight the universe?
So, from October 1 to October 31, I’m helping to launch a university- and community-wide shoe drive at my lovely school, Western Carolina University. With a university community of almost 15,000 folks and a bunch of young and motivate students joining forces with me, can you imagine the potential impact we might make?
If you are reading this and thinking that it’s a great idea (I mean, who doesn’t have extra shoes cluttering their closet?!?), you can absolutely bring this mission to your own community. It’s incredibly easy to host a shoe drive of your own – just go to this link and fill out your information. In less than a week, a package will arrive with boxes for collection and you’ll get an editable template for fliers to help you advertise your shoe drive.
Whether you collect shoes at your child’s school, your church or even just collecting among your friends, every pair counts! I would be THRILLED to have you on my team. If you are ready to take up the challenge (and I know you are!), make sure to write down my blogging number on your paperwork (I’m lucky #13) and together, we will
stomp the competition do our best to help as many in need as we can.
Seriously though, regardless of whether I win or not (and you all know I’m going to gun for it), I’m pretty sure that every second soliciting for shoes will be totally worth it.