L-R are:  Stephanie Hinnant (Program Director,)  Tammy and Paul Mazurkiewicz (owners).

Soles4Souls... local Little Gym 
collects little shoes for a big cause
The Little Gym has collected more than 1,000 pairs of shoes for soles4souls
By Beth Volpert-Johansen

The Webb Gin location of The Little Gym may cater to little friends, but those who fill their little shoes have big hearts. As with many local merchants, Co-owners Paul and Tammy Mazurkiewicz believe that giving back is paramount to good business and being part of a caring community. While their immediate community includes some of the smaller residents of the area, Paul and Tammy are happy to show these kids how to make a big impact, one pair of shoes at a time.



 feetties 440
The Little Gym has collected more than 1,000 pairs of shoes for soles4souls

For the past two years, that team, made up of children and parents, have donated shoes they have outgrown or no longer need in a special Soles4Souls drop box located in the gym’s lobby.  The shoes are shipped to Soles4Souls, and with each pair, two sets of children’s lives are affected in a positive way. “Since kids are often the ones who physically put the donated shoes into our drop-box, they develop at least a little bit of empathy toward others,” said Paul “It's also a natural fit with the 'Citizen Kid' component of our core curriculum that focuses on life skills that help children grow into well-rounded citizens of the world.”

The Little Gym is happy to accept gently worn adult and children’s shoes at their location to support the national campaign, “Big Hearts, Little Shoes.” As a part of the community, Paul and Tammy welcome the interaction with little feet and the big feet who walk beside them. “We can always tell when people clean out their home or garage,” adds Tammy, chuckling.  “Instead of having one or two pairs of shoes donated, we receive one or two garbage bags full of shoes. Then we box them up and ship them out!”

The Little Gym of Snellville, uses a non-competitive gymnastics curriculum to develop confidence and self-esteem in children. For those children who grow up barefoot, every step counts in building self-confidence. A pair of shoes can, quite literally, change the entire life of a child who has nothing to wear on their feet.  Confidence, comfort, and health are all improved when a child can put on a properly fitting pair of shoes to play, grow, go to school, and live. Supporting a community-driven initiative is part of doing good business for Paul and Tammy and the best way to demonstrate the social aspects of the lessons taught at The Little Gym.

In addition to parties and parents night out activities, The Little Gym offers regular classes and camps for children from four months to 12 years old, ranging from gymnastics and sports skills to ballet and tap dancing.  More information on The Little Gym of Snellville can be found at www.thelittlegym.com/snellvillega.