Community//

Dr Anthony Weinert: “Sole Movement”

The movement that I have a goal and vision of is called the “Sole Movement” and is where I want to help and provide at least 1 million pairs of new shoes to the homeless, veterans, and adults and children in need in the community, With the proper help I would like for people with […]

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The movement that I have a goal and vision of is called the “Sole Movement” and is where I want to help and provide at least 1 million pairs of new shoes to the homeless, veterans, and adults and children in need in the community, With the proper help I would like for people with the “Sole Movement” is to take off their new shoes and be able to donate them and provide them to someone in need for them to get back on their feet. My mother grew up in a poor Polish family of 15 kids and they never had new shoes. They would always have to wear hand me down shoes and shoes with holes in them and many times my mom had to walk to school barefooted. This is what gives me the passion and drive so that no family has to endure what my mom and her siblings had to endure growing up. We need to be there for one another as we are all brothers and sisters and are all One.


As part of my series about people who stepped up to make a difference during the COVID19 Pandemic, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Anthony Weinert.

Dr. Weinert, known in the community as “The Sole Doctor”, has helped and distributed over 10,000 pairs of shoes to homeless, veterans, and those in need in the community through his 501c3 non-profit Shoe Pantry Plus. Dr. Weinert and his non-profit organization are also planning on doing more distributions throughout Michigan and also trying to coordinate a nationwide distribution to our healthcare doctors and nurses on the frontlines in hospitals throughout the United States called “Shoes for Healthcare Heroes.” He says: “We are all in this together and let’s help each other out and unite as ONE during these hard times.”


Thank you for joining us in this interview series. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?

I grew up in a middle-class family of 6 in Sterling Heights, Michigan. I was the mild child and had an older sister, Lisa, an older brother, Bert, and a younger brother Gary. My dad, Norbert, was a very hard worker that worked multiple jobs and my mother, Diane, was a stay-at-home mother for us, four children. I had a great childhood and my parents gave me and my siblings a lot of love and appropriate tools to go out in the real world. I grew up in a very close family and we did a lot of things together. I went to high school at a college preparatory school called DeLaSalle Collegiate and then went away to college after high school graduation. I then went to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI where I pursued my BS degree in Pre-Medicine with a Biology Major.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

A book in which I enjoyed reading and that had a significant impact on me is “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch. It resonated with me because it shows that even with adversity and having terminal cancer, Professor Pausch still gives his last lecture “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams’’ before retiring and shows insights into life and what really matters. He talks about the importance of us all striving for our dreams and to never give up or stop believing. He also talks about the importance of good parenting and its effects on a child’s life as well as the importance of always putting people first before any material things. The book was very inspirational and I live my life each and every day. Just being able to live each day as if it was my last and to have gratitude for all the blessings I have in my life.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?

My favorite life lesson quote is from Oprah Winfrey which says “Lasting joy is found not in what you get, but in what you give.” This is relevant in my life because I truly get joy and happiness when I help others, especially those in need. It is the best feeling to be able to put a smile on someone’s face and bring them joy, but most importantly, them knowing someone cares and has compassion and love for them is what we all need as human beings. Showing love and compassion towards one another will make this world a lot better place.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. You are currently leading a social impact organization that has stepped up during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Can you tell us a bit about what you and your organization are trying to address?

We are trying to address the need to help and protect our doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. As a foot surgeon, I felt compelled to help my fellow colleagues out by providing them with comfortable Crocs healthcare clogs to wear which will keep their feet comfortable during the long hours, but most importantly to prevent the spread of the coronavirus from the hospital settings to their homes and family. The Crocs healthcare shoes are easy to disinfect and sanitize and will help to rid the spread of viruses on the surfaces of their shoes. Protecting our healthcare heroes was what I wanted to do and I know the feet and shoes were never talked about as far as protective equipment to the healthcare workers, but I feel it is essential and needed. Anything that can be done to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to a healthcare worker or to their families was my main goal and initiative. This was the least I could do as they are putting their lives on the line each and every day for us in helping those during this COVID-19 pandemic crisis. We need to be there for each other and why I wanted to help and protect them and their families.

Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest it. We just don’t get up and do it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and do it? What was that final trigger?

Something deep within my soul just told me that I have to do what I have to do to help these healthcare heroes and those working on the frontlines. Watching on television all the reports and talking about protective equipment for the healthcare workers with masks, gloves, face shields, and gowns, but nothing was talked about with their shoes and the virus laying dormant on surfaces of shoes. Also, a lot of the workers were complaining of their feet hurting from being on them for long periods of time on hard floors. Being a foot specialist, I know the shoes they are wearing are important to keep them comfortable and also needed something that is easy to sanitize and disinfect especially when they leave the hospitals and go to their homes or other places. The nice thing about Crocs healthcare clog shoes is they have a nice built-in arch support and shock absorption cushion which works great on hard floors and they are also easy to sanitize. I just felt compelled to help them out and keep them safe and protected and comfortable working their long hours.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

There were so many people that sent me to thank you emails and letters and were so appreciative of their new Crocs healthcare shoes. I also received letters from a lot of the hospitals that I helped their doctors, nurses, and frontline workers. There was a nurse, Lynn, that stands out to me and was so appreciative and she told me that her feet and back feel a lot better with her new shoes. She said prior to getting her Crocs she was having a lot of pain on the arches of both feet and also having lower back pain and had to massage her feet and ice them on her breaks. She was also taking Advil for her discomfort and was limping around and was miserable. She told me that her feet and back are feeling a lot better and she is in a lot better mood able to help the patients. She also feels safer and more comfortable from spreading the coronavirus on her shoes when she goes home to her family.

What are the three things that the community can do to help you in your great work?

The three things the community can do to help me in my works are to increase visibility, increase donations, and increase volunteers so we can help a lot more people.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

I would say the 5 things I wish someone would have told me when i first started is that:

  1. It is very time consuming, takes a lot of organization, takes a lot of phone calls and a lot of coordination and organization.
  2. Distribution is complicated. The process of coordinating the distribution of the Crocs healthcare shoes was a very long and time-consuming process. Making numerous calls and emails to get the proper contact person to be able to distribute the shoes to the hospitals.
  3. All hospitals have different protocols and different people in charge. Also coordinating the times for delivery and directions on where to deliver to each of the hospitals.
  4. Coordinating and organizing delivery is difficult when there is extreme urgency, Coordinating the delivery of the Crocs and then organizing and loading on the trucks with each hospital’s amounts and designations. Also organizing the amounts of Crocs that will be going to each of the hospitals in the area.
  5. I had to do most of the tasks myself. Due to the urgency of the time needed to give these to the doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers on the frontlines of the hospital, I had to do the majority of everything on my own. If I had more time I would have had more volunteers help out and others help me with coordination and communications with hospitals as well as with Crocs company. But overall, it was well worth it and so happy I could help my Healthcare Heroes out during these unprecedented times.

From your experience or research, what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious during this tumultuous time? Can you explain why?

I would suggest that we all try and stay as positive as possible and look at this time to spend more quality time with the family. Set out some time to watch Netflix or a movie and have family bonding time. In addition, this is a time to improve yourself and work on personal development and recreating yourself or your business. Reading books and watching educational videos will take your mind off of things and help build your brain. Another good thing you can do is to go for a walk and enjoy nature and appreciate everything around you as walking is not only good for your health but also good for your stress. I would also encourage everyone to just sit down or lay in bed for 10 minutes with no distractions and just close your eyes and be in the present moment and take deep breaths in and out. This short meditation will help the body and nervous system relax. I would also suggest that we all take about 10–15 minutes out each day and take your shoes and socks off. Put them on the grass or sidewalk and allow the healing energy from the earth to help calm and relax the body. This grounding and healing exercise is very beneficial.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

I would tell them that making a positive impact in the world, will give you a great feeling deep within your soul and bring more joy, happiness, and fulfillment to your life. After all, Giving is the secret to a peaceful soul.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

The movement that I have a goal and vision of is called the “Sole Movement” and is where I want to help and provide at least 1 million pairs of new shoes to the homeless, veterans, and adults and children in need in the community, With the proper help I would like for people with the “Sole Movement” is to take off their new shoes and be able to donate them and provide them to someone in need for them to get back on their feet. My mother grew up in a poor Polish family of 15 kids and they never had new shoes. They would always have to wear hand me down shoes and shoes with holes in them and many times my mom had to walk to school barefooted. This is what gives me the passion and drive so that no family has to endure what my mom and her siblings had to endure growing up. We need to be there for one another as we are all brothers and sisters and are all One.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

The one person in the world who is a true role model, whom I inspire to be in this world, and whom I would absolutely love to have a private lunch with is Oprah Winfrey. She is such a beautiful soul and gives so much to the world. She is a blessing to us all and someone whom I admire deeply. She is a true earth angel that brings positivity, love, and light to this world. If we could all love and have compassion for one another, this world would be a better place. I have learned so much from her and live my life around her wisdom and teachings. This world is such a better place with Oprah in it and I love her so much. I have a quote from Oprah that I have on my desk which inspires me every day. The quote is “Lasting joy is found not in what you get, but in what you give.”

How can our readers follow you online?

My office website is www.stopfeetpainfast.com Also, my Shoe Pantry Plus non-profit website and helping the community is www.shoepantryplus.org Also, if you want to know more about me as an author and my new book you can visit www.wholefootrevolution.com

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!


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