Ken Bernhard is a very busy man. But not too busy to help others in need.
The longtime Westport attorney and former state legislator is deeply committed to 2 important ventures.
One is Soles4Souls. Founded as a relief organization after philanthropists and shoe executives provided footwear to people impacted by the 2004 tsunami and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the non-profit has distributed 22 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries (and all 50 US states).
A few years ago, Bernhard helped collect over 700 pairs in Westport. He’s organized another collection this month. Collection boxes are set up in Town Hall and the Senior Center. More than 150 pairs of shoes have already been donated this year. Breaking that 700 mark should be a walk in the park.
In October, Bernhard heads to Jordan. With an Arab-speaking colleague, he’ll purchase and deliver everything from toothpaste to school supplies — to Syrian refugees. He’s helped set up the 501(c)(3) Syria fund, under the umbrella of Helping Jordan Refugees and Mercy Corps.
“When I listened to the news about millions of refugees who have lost so much, and endured incalculable suffering through no fault of their own — ending up in bleak compounds with nothing but a will to survive — I thought I and our community should do something to help.”
If a busy guy like Ken Bernhard can find time to help these 2 excellent causes, the rest of us can pitch in too. Donations made payable to The Syria Fund should be sent to Ken Bernhard, 11 Woods Grove Rd., Westport, CT 06880; online, click on TheSyriaFund.