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Giving is a shoe that fits this ‘philanthropic designer’

  • Written by Milton Howery III
  • Published in News

In the name of giving, people shoved out cash and donated brand new toys for the children at Cherokee Elementary School during a “Toy Drive & Concert” at the Thrive & Bloom Spa on Germantown Parkway last Saturday (Dec. 17) night.

SoGiv Founder Edward Bogard and Thrive & Bloom Spa owner Janice Alford-Sanders and her grandchildren, Ahmarria & Takira Sanders. (Courtesy photo)

Such efforts are in character with the holiday season, and in this case the director was Edward Bogard of BOGARD footwear & apparel. He reached out to touch some of Cherokee’s “forgotten: students via SoGiv, the non-profit organization he started in 2009 because of his desire to be a “philanthropic designer.”

Say what?

“Philanthropic designer” is a phrase Bogard coined to mean “designing for a cause.”

“The mission of SoGiv is to raise global awareness through a shoe that would enable one-hundred percent of the proceeds to be donated towards a worthy cause,” said Bogard.

Volunteers bent on helping to better the world make the non-profit organization go. In addition to designing and selling shoes, they do charity work such as feeding the homeless, toy drives, mentoring to troubled youth, sponsoring children in need, and providing better medical care and nourishment through various well-known organizations.

The “Toy Drive & Concert” drew a crowd clearly in the giving spirit for Cherokee Elementary School.

“We picked Cherokee Elementary School because basically with each year they have an Angel Tree with various students’ names on it whose parents might not be able to buy them any toys for Christmas, so they depend on someone else answering their Christmas Wish for their children,” said Bogard.

“So what happened this year was either no one pulled their names or people pulled their names and they still didn’t get any gifts. It was as if they were forgotten. After hearing that story I felt inspired to put a toy drive together in only a week’s time, along with a benefits concert as well as adopting our first Memphis City School.”

Donators at the event where entertained by the talented band “Reach” and by singer Brennan Villines. Both gave crowd-pleasing performances.

Even the donors got gifts. Each received a SoGiv T-shirt, a $25 Skirkle gift card, and $10 gift card to the Thrive & Bloom Spa.

“I was honored to help SoGiv with their Toy Drive & Concert. I am always willing to help out in any way that I can,” said Janice Alford-Sanders, owner of Thrive and Bloom Spa.

SoGiv is not through giving – not by a long shot. On Jan. 20 from 7 p.m. to midnight, there will be a coat drive to provide coats for children in need. And on Feb. 18, SoGiv is hosting a food drive designed to help restock local food pantries. Both events will take place at the Thrive & Bloom Spa.

“I always wanted to change the world through my designs,” said Bogard, “one design at a time.”

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