Shirley Boggs needs help.
Boggs is the founder of Mothers United Through Tragedy, the often-struggling yet always-inspiring Strawberry Mansion-based nonprofit that aims to expose the humanity lost in violence in Philadelphia.
This Saturday at 2 p.m., her eighth annual FootPrints of Life is in danger of coming up short — as I wrote for CityPaper.
Every year, in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum steps, her group places a pair of shoes on the ground to represent each man, woman and child who was killed the previous year. But, after the past weekend’s last big collection came up short, she has just 175 for the 333 lives lost in 2008. Boggs, whose own son was shot to death during a 1997 robbery, is in particular need for men’s shoes of any kind or size.
After the event, those shoes are given to Self Inc., which distributes them to homeless shelters throughout Philadelphia.
Shoes or not, Boggs wants you to come, to create a shared experience around the tragedy of death.
“Everyone can come because everyone is affected by this. But, I particularly want the families of those lost to come, so they can be with others who have lost someone,” she says. “We have to remember, they walked among us.”
Lots of people promise her things that never happen — her Web site remains unfinished and she says she never does get the photos from her events that people promise her. Still, these shoes are something different, even though she realizes she might not make her goal this year.
“All I can do is ask and wait,” she says. “I’m blessed.”
Call (215) 227-5331 or 267 235-0046 to donate or get more information. All are welcome.
FootPrints of Life
Saturday, June 13 at 2 p.m.
Philadelphia Art Museum steps
(215) 227-5331 or 267 235-0046