Shoes for Meg, Hope for Many

How can any good come from such a tragedy?

This question is asked a thousand times over when a tragic event happens in a community. There is shock. There is disbelief. Then comes the turbulence of emotions that either erupt like a volcano or slip out like a dripping faucet. Even when there is closure, there is never closure; the question still remains.

I’ve written about Meg Menzies several times which you can read here, here, and here. Her death was not only a shock for our small community but radiated across the globe through running communities and those who advocate against drunk driving. The Facebook group, Meg’s Miles Supporters has more than 16,700 members who keep her memory alive by sharing their running stories and dedicating their miles to Meg.

At the first Boston Marathon after Meg’s tragic death, there was an outpouring of love shown by a memorial created by Kel Kelly. To see the impact of Meg’s legacy through the vision of a stranger in another state was phenomenal. It reinforced the fact that even after death, your memory lives on in others, even through people you’ve never met.

Since that time, Kel Kelly has been pulled by a new mission as she helps refugees in Greece. She noticed that the refugees were arriving with their feet in horrible condition as many fled on foot or had long since worn away their shoes from miles of walking. It didn’t take long for this observation to turn into a Meg’s Miles mission with a request sent out through social media for a shoe drive.


The plan seemed rather simple. Advertise a local shoe drive. Encourage the community to donate. Provide a location and time for drop-off. Drive the shoes in a U-Haul to MA for Kel Kelly to then transport for her mission efforts in Greece.

Oh, the blessings we can provide when we work together.

I went through my shoes. My husband’s shoes. My kids’ shoes. I came up with 16 pairs of shoes we no longer needed, or were willing to sacrifice, and put them all in a bag. I could have easily dropped them off at Goodwill, or even taken them downtown to a homeless shelter, but these were shoes for Meg. For Kel. For someone else in need.

These shoes are priceless to someone I will never meet.


I dropped off my shoes Saturday morning and was immediately greeted by Keith Cartwright himself. We chatted a bit and he laughed at my excuse for not running marathons: “Well, someone has to take care of the kids.” (My husband has run countless marathons. I’ll do an occasional 5K or 10K, but I’d rather be dancing than running, lol.)


Meg’s mom, Pam, came over and gave me a tight hug, her smile radiating joy.

That’s right – JOY.


Wait. How can a mother who lost her precious daughter much too early, in such a tragic way, shine with joy just a few years later?

Because Pam knows the love of God.

She understands the power of forgiveness.

She realizes the never-ending impact of kindness.

I followed the progress of the shoe collection all day. From hundreds to thousands, the boxes were filled and stacked inside the U-Haul.




I had 16 pairs of shoes to give. Some people donated dozens, others only a few. Individually, our random acts of kindness were small and meager; together our contributions will have a direct impact on more than 6,000 lives.

6,000 lives.

All because of Meg.

“How can any good come from such a tragedy?”





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