Elinor Nelson

For more than 25 years, Elinor Nelson has worked in the Washington University in St. Louis Financial Services department as a Grant Analyst. In addition to her work at WUSTL, Elinor is active in the community and in her church. She has served as treasurer and administrative assistant at two churches for 29 years. This includes 19 years at her current church, Grace Community Bible Church in Maryland Heights. Elinor’s pastor and his wife describe her as “an over-achiever.”

As early as her teen years, Elinor found satisfaction in giving to and serving others. She would often give out of her little pocket money to help friends in need. It is perhaps that sense of commitment to others that led her to found an organization that helps build children’s self esteem and meets a practical need.

Elinor says that while volunteering for a week at a summer camp, she noticed that many of the children were wearing shoes inappropriate for outdoors adventure. Some kids had on flip-flops and others wore shoes that were clearly past their useful life. Being a very spiritual person, Elinor says that after she returned home she prayed for a way to provide shoes for children.

Just a year later, in June 2000, Elinor founded 2000 Feet, Inc., which provides shoes for children in the St. Louis city and county. It was this selfless endeavor that sparked Karon Michel to nominate Elinor for the Ethic of Service award.

Elinor said, “What makes 2000 Feet, Inc. unique is that we take the kids shopping and they get to pick out a pair of shoes of their own choice. We also provide written information on good foot care tips that is given to the parents during the shoe fitting process. It is rewarding to see the smiles and the satisfaction from the kids and the parents.”

In its first six months, Elinor’s organization raised funds and provided shoes for seven children. Now after nearly five years, 2000 Feet has provided 652 children with shoes. Elinor hopes to grow the organization to increase the number of children served each year. Karon remarked, “Elinor is an inspiration not only to me but the WUSTL community as a whole. Elinor is living proof that one person can make a huge difference in the lives of many.”

2006 update:

2000 Feet, Inc. is pleased to announce that you can now donate online via our secure PayPal account and you can register for our annual event online. We are striving to reach our goal to serve 1,000 kids during the 2005-2006 school year. As of the end of this fall semester we have served more than 400 children. Our first television appearance was on the Mike and Jeanne Talk Show, September 8, 2005, UPN 46. We have also completed our BBB (Better Business Bureau) application for Reliability Assurance!