From Trash to Treasure, Marietta’s New Shoes


My name is Marietta and today I have new pair of shoes. Though not brand new from the store they are brand new to me.  I found my new shoes in a rubbish pile at the city dump.  I really can not understand why someone would throw such a good pair of shoes in the trash.  They fit my perfectly and they are so beautiful!

Nine years ago I was found in this same dump.

I was born to a woman who really did not plan to throw me away but she felt like she had no choice.   At the age of 12 she was sold by her father to a man who had promises that her life could be so much better. The man told her father that he could give her a nice home.  He told him that he would even pay him to let her live with him.  He told her father that by living with him she would be able to attend school and receive an education.  Her father wanted so much more for his daughter than he felt he could give her and the man seemed sincere.  He believed the things the man told him. Though he would miss her her, her father wanted his daughter to have a better life.  He let her go with the man all the while thinking that he was protecting his daughter by sending her to live with the man. He didn’t know that the man was bad man and that the man was using his desperate situation to take advantage.

A few days later his daughter did arrive at nice home but soon found out the man had lied to her father. Instead of going to school she was forced to work without pay and she was also physically and sexually abused for the next several years.  At age 15 she found herself hiding a pregnancy and eventually alone, giving birth in the city dump behind a pile of rubbish.  She was afraid that if the man ever found out about her baby he would hurt it by turning its life into a life of slavery too.  So that day she made a desperate decision to do the hardest thing she ever had to do in her life.  She kissed her baby and then she turned and ran away leaving her baby there at the dump, tossed away with trash.

That baby was me, Marietta.   A few hours later I was found by a woman who came to the dump to find things to sell.  The woman was poor, barely having enough money to feed her own self but she still took me home anyway.  She began the task of nursing me to heath and she began raising me as her own child.

Nine years have passed and the woman who found me is my mother now.  I love my mom so much.  We laugh and have fun together.  She always tells me stories and gives me the best hugs. Every day my mother and I walk 3 miles to the dump where we pick through the rubbish looking for things we can sell in the market; this is how we make our money. Today while we were searching I found a pair of shoes! These shoes are the most beautiful shoes in the world! I have never had a pair of shoes before I am so excited about this!  I just have to try them on!

As I put the shoes on my feet they I notice they are a perfect fit.  I feel like dancing… I leap and spin and twirl.   As I joyously spin around I notice a tear in my mother’s eye.  I run over and wrap my arms around my mother’s neck and I ask her why she is crying. I love her so much and I do not do not want her to ever be sad. My mother smiles at me and she tells me that she is not sad at all.  She tells me that that her tears are tears of joy and that my dancing makes her happy. My mother then tells me that she wants me to keep the shoes.  Wow! I am so happy I have new shoes! This is the best day ever!

Later as we are walking home I ask my mother why someone would throw away something that was so beautiful and perfect.

She told me that these beautiful shoes were just like me, she said they were beautiful and perfect and though we found them here at the dump looking as if they were tossed in the rubbish that they were NOT thrown away, but left right here where they were supposed to be.  That the shoes had been put here by God for me because he knew I needed them.  She said that they were a beautiful treasure and a gift from God to me, just as I was a beautiful treasure and I was a gift from God to her.

Dear Readers,  As you know this is blog month at Compassion.  Today we were given a picture to write a story about.  Though the picture I wrote about shows a pair of worn shoes that to some may look like trash, I believe they are on the feet of a beautiful child. Though this story may be fiction the things written about in it are all too real and are happening in our world.

I have heard that we do not know someone until we have walked a mile in their shoes. Today I tried to take you on a small journey in the shoes of a child in poverty (or no shoes).  The children pictured below live in areas that experience high incidents of child right violations.  Things like child prostitution, child trafficking, physical, emotional and sexual abuse, neglect, child labor, early marriages and harmful cultural practices. Your sponsorship of an At-Risk Child will help provide child-protection, education, action planning and an immediate response to abuse if needed.  You can click each child’s picture and find out more information on how you can help by sponsoring one of them.  Once you sponsor a child you can write them letters and tell them they are special, let them know they are beautiful and that they are loved.




You can also click the picture of the beautiful shoes above or below and visit Compassion’s At Risk Child page


Please consider sponsoring a child today.