When I slip into my shoes each morning, I’m usually not mindful of the rows of shoeboxes on the top closet shelves safely protecting my off-season ones from dust. Nor am I counting how many shoes are tucked into the shoe rack on the closet wall. A lot of blessings along our daily routine we tend to take for granted — shoes are clearly one of them.

They were for me until I began working at Zappos and would hear from customers, on a daily basis, in need of therapeutic shoes. I have a passion for helping people achieve a more balanced healthy lifestyle. Never did I factor shoes into that equation … until now.


At Zappos, we’re known for WOWing our customers with excellent, personalized customer service. In my beginning months, I was an Agent of WOW in the call center. What an honor it was to speak to and help so many people. From very basic shoes and clothes shopping issues to complex ones, the bottom line was I heard it all.

As a health conscious person, I do believe the universe directed a whole lot of those calls to me that specifically dealt with illnesses. Daily, I spoke with customers suffering from diabetes, bunions and planters fasciitis, just to name a few. When it comes to buying proper fitting, comfortable shoes after foot surgery or when dealing with an illness, it’s no walk in the park.

According to the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), there is an extensive list of medical conditions, such as certain metabolic, neurologic, chronic and peripheral vascular diseases resulting in a need for therapeutic shoes. Included in that list is even malnutrition! Wow. Who knew?

What I do know, though, is that I’m ever so grateful and humbled by the opportunity to help people gain control over their foot situation and achieve a little comfort. I could hear their sense of relief, and even their smile, through the phone when they finally found what would liberate them from the pain in their feet.

I’ve been even more humbled since broadening my horizons at Zappos, working in different areas, and volunteering for certain charitable events. For instance, there’s Prom Closet, where we give prom outfits, shoes and accessories to high school senior girls and boys in need. Then there’s our Thanksgiving dinner and shoes giveaway, where we serve a hot traditional turkey meal to about 1,000 homeless men, women and children, and fit them each with a new pair of shoes and socks.

So many of our vendors readily give back to their communities and other countries in this same manner. We love partnering with them in their ongoing efforts, as well as with various charitable organizations that help us extend our benevolent reach.

One such organization is Soles4Souls.


Love & RAWspect,

Terri, aka t-RAW

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