By Josh Casper
I’m an advocate for creativity in any way especially when it comes to helping the most vulnerable of the world’s poor.
A simple necessity such as shoes can add much dignity to a life spent wondering through harsh and unsanitary conditions.
Organizations such as TOMS Shoes created a wonderful business creating a way for both the donor and recipient to receive shoes.
I’ve watched the documentary and found it quite beautiful, especially to see a mother crying because she can see her children live life a little more comfortable.
But, this isn’t about TOMS this is about Soles4Souls.
Soles4Souls is a shoe charity dedicated to helping those in need. They collect new and gently-worn shoes and donate them according to need. “It gives hope to a better tomorrow…” as their mission statement says.
Soles4Souls also recycles the shoes that we don’t wear anymore a somewhat brilliant concept that we’ve somehow missed considering how much we waste and donate to trendy second-hand stores.
They have declared this week (June 1 June 7) “Barefoot Media Week”. Barefoot Media Week is encouraging TV, movie and sports stars to go barefoot for four consecutive hours in the public eye to capture the media’s attention for the Soles4Souls recycled shoe program.
They are already claiming the likes of Zach Braff, Scarlett Johansson and Randy Jackson who can use their popularity and publicity to offer more to a world that needs so much.
The week-long event sponsored by the Nashville-based organization hopes to encourage the local communities to come together in donating shoes, time and resources for the cause. They are inviting their audience to walk barefoot themselves, to get a feel of what it would be like to live in a world where you couldn’t afford a necessity as simple as shoes.
There are an estimated 300 million children who are forced to wander in unsanitary conditions and often contract various diseases and ailments. A simple pair of shoes can add back to a life of hope and dignity.
Perhaps you will be next person to catch the eye of a stranger.
You don’t have to be a movie star for someone to realize you aren’t wearing shoes.
Are you willing to walk barefoot to raise awareness for the millions around the world? Well… are you?
Feel free to check out Soles4Souls website here.
If you liked this article, check out: Soles4Souls: Interview with Wayne Elsey.
Josh is a Mississippi boy who now lives in Portland, Oregon. He is currently enjoying being a newlywed to his beautiful wife Hannah, who both met in 2007 while serving with Word Made Flesh in Calcutta, India. His interests include: books, gardens, racial reconciliation, southern cuisine, coffee and birds (in no particular order). Josh is also an aspiring: writer, Stumptown barista-extraordinaire and world-renowned southern chef.