The Rest of the Story….how one of our own, Millie Flores, partners with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, to provide shoes for the middle school students at Jardine in Planeview.
Written by a proud father, Jorge Flores, and shared with his permission.
I’ve felt compelled to tell you this story for some time now; I’m not exactly sure why. But here it is. It is about Millie’s shoe drive that she did in 2015. . You probably know a lot of this story but not all of it. It’s the piece you probably DON’T know about that I want you to hear.
If you remember, Millie decided to collect shoes for the charity Soles4Souls. She knew she could ask the church and her marching band /friends at school and neighbors. So she set a goal of collecting 2000 pairs (I think the charity suggests that as a first goal).
She asked you if she could address the congregation (and you let her). She asked her band director to address the band at school (and she did). She posted on Facebook about her drive. She contacted the Wichita Eagle and all three local new stations. Only the Wichita Eagle responded and they agreed to write a story. We didn’t hear back from the TV news stations. It took a while to hear back from the Eagle and she set up an interview.
For the first two weeks or so, Millie had great response from Chapel Hill and at school. Tons of shoes were donated. Then the donations crawled to a halt. It appears that all those who were going to donate already had. She had collected approximately 1000 pairs at the time. About that time, she had her interview with the Eagle. She told them her goal was 2000 pairs but was currently at just shy of 1000 pair. The reporter said the story would be published in about a day or two.
But the story didn’t get published over the next several days. Worried that the story may actually not even get published and concerned that shoe donations were no longer pouring in, Millie confided in me that she was a little disappointed. She had failed to achieve her goal. I told her she should be proud to have collected 1000 pair. But she adamant about collecting at least 2000 pair. So I asked her if she had prayed about it. And she said no. And I asked why not. And so we prayed about it.
The next day, she called the reporter and asked about the story. The reporter confirmed that she had indeed submitted the story to the editor for publication. Normally, she said, it’s just a one or two day turnaround to get the editor to review and find a spot to put it. It had already been about a week and the reporter said she didn’t know why it was taking so long. A few days later, the story is finally published.
That evening, a syndicated TV show called Dish Nation that reports on entertainment and pop culture was doing a feature on Wichita. They made a big deal about the Garth Brooks concert that was to take place. At the end of the show they mentioned the story in the Eagle that appeared that day about Millie’s shoe drive.
As luck would have it, Kim Kardashian saw the Dish Nation show and tweeted to the world that she wanted to find the girl in Andover, Kansas. Her husband Kanye West has a shoe business and they would donate the other 1000 pairs of shoes.
The next day, Millie said her Twitter feed blew up. Many of her friends at school told her that Kim Kardashian was trying to find her to donate shoes. At first Millie thought they were just pulling her leg. But then news and media outlets were also trying to find her. The school fielded tons of calls from media outlets looking for Millie. She left school early because she was getting interrupted by so many texts and tweets and phone calls. Good Morning America contacted her and wanted her to fly to New York that night to be on the show the next morning (a Thursday). The Eagle reporter who wrote the story came to see her and celebrate the whirlwind that was going on that day.
After thinking about it, Millie made a wise choice to do an interview on Good Morning America via webcast. She had an ACT test that Saturday and didn’t want the hassle of this distraction to affect her test score. The Wichita Eagle helped her do a practice recording for Good Morning America to test out the equipment setup and transmission from our house.
Kim Kardashian confirmed with Soles4Souls her donation of 1000 pair of shoes. She said Millie could pick one of places where the shoes were distributed. She picked Jardine Middle School. The charity set a date for the distribution event. That day of the distribution, every kid in the school received a new pair of shoes. It was a hugely exciting and humbling moment.
The important part of the story that I wanted you to hear was the part about praying. When things didn’t seem to be going in the right direction, we prayed. And the very weird sequence of events that followed could only have been orchestrated by God. The fact that the news story was published way later than it should have been, the fact that it came out on the day that Dish Nation was broadcasting about Wichita, the fact that Dish Nation even included the story from the Eagle as a blurb to end their show that night, the fact that Kim Kardashian saw the story at all, and then decided to find Millie and help her out—I think this was God’s way of making sure we didn’t just chalk this up to coincidence.
In the end, Millie collected about 5000 pair of shoes. Because of the publicity they received, Soles4Soles also received many pairs of shoes donated because of Millie.
Every time I think of this event, I am humbled. Our God is bigger than any perceived problem or issue or mountain that we may face. God blessed Millie in such a fabulous way.
For more information on the event check out the following links below!