For children all over the world, a simple pair of shoes can be a gift of hope.
Soles4Souls first came to my attention when I heard that See Kai Run generously donates to their efforts. See Kai Run makes the kind of shoes that have children jumping for joy and adults wishing they came in their size. With bold colors, a hip, retro sensibility, and high quality design, these flexible-soled leather shoes stand out.
See Kai Run has donated thousands of shoes through Soles4Souls, most recently putting together an emergency shipment of 3,000 shoes for children in Haiti.
Now, Soles4Souls has launched Barefoot Week (June 1-7) to raise awareness that more than 300 million children do not have shoes. During this week, Soles4Souls will be distributing over 50,000 new shoes plus thousands of shoes from community drives.
A few years ago, a speech by a volunteer leader drove home to me the importance of shoes to children. Her organization had surveyed local school principals about attendance. They found that the principals unanimously agreed that what the children needed were shoes. Some of the most at risk children would come to school with old shoes hanging together with duct tape. They could not participate in athletics, they could not play comfortably on the playground–they could barely walk. And, worst of all to their budding self-esteem, they were teased mercilessly. Many simply stopped showing up.
In areas touched by natural disaster, shoes make an even greater difference. In Haiti, where Soles4Souls recently brought donations of shoes, children are at high risk for tetanus and other diseases. Shoes help to prevent infection and save lives.
For these children, shoes are far more than fashion–they are education, they are health, they are survival.
Soles4Souls will facilitate the donations of shoes worldwide.
You can help, too. During Barefoot Week, you can update your profile image to a photograph of your bare feet or share a status update about this need. Individuals can bring gently used shoes to a local drop off, organize a shoe drive, or donate money to provide shoes for children. Learn more on http://giveshoes.org.
Giving looks great on you.
WIN IT: See Kai Run is offering a pair of their sweetly chic shoes from their Smaller or See Kai Run line (subject to availability) for children to our readers to help raise awareness of the mission of Soles4Souls. You may earn up to three entries. Leave a separate comment for each entry:
- Comment telling us which pair of shoes from the Smaller or See Kai Run lines you would choose if you win and why you like that pair.
- Fan See Kai Run, Soles4Souls, and Mamanista on Facebook and let us know in the comments.
- Share a link to this post on Twitter and leave the URL of your status update in your comment. Sample tweet: Enter to win a pair of @SeeKaiRun shoes & help @Mamanista raise awareness abt @Soles4Souls 300 million kids need shoes http://ow.ly/1RrZX
Contest ends June 8 at 11:59 PM EST. Open to shipping addresses in the United States and Canada. Winner chosen at random.
Another Way to Win: If you send a screen capture of your “barefoot profile picture” to firstname.lastname@example.org, you will be entered to WIN ONE OF TEN CELEBRITY AUTOGRAPHED PAIRS OF SHOES.