The year was 2010, Internet Explorer was most popular for “surfing the net,” and Toy Story 3 was the most popular movie of the year. This was the year that Shoes 4 the Shoeless was born. Against all odds, a small team led by Kris began raising funds to purchase shoes and socks for kids in our region. Loaded into personal vehicles, they sat in the nurse’s office and began fitting children, oftentimes having to come back the next day with more shoes as the initial measurement wasn’t correct.
That year we provided just over 1,000 pairs of footwear to children who had been suffering horribly because they had no other way of having properly fitting gym shoes. Our learning curve was steep, but we were determined.
A lot has changed in our world over 10 years. For S4TS, we have grown from a small, grassroots group into a nationally recognized and sought- after organization. We have set the national standard for meeting one of the biggest unmet needs for children in poverty, a pair of brand new gym shoes and socks that fit. Big changes, but thankfully, some things have remained constant. The constant of having incredible volunteers who go above and beyond to make sure children feel cared for. The constant of kids receiving something that they so desperately need. And the constant of the tremendous compassion that drives our mission along with the commitment to keep going, reaching more and more children each year.
This past year, we provided over 23,000 pairs of shoes to children in our region. We have reached well over 100,000 since we began. And we are as determined as we were 10 years ago. We will not stop. The kids need us more than ever.
THANK YOU for being a part of this incredible journey the past 10 years. We can’t wait to see what is in store for the next 10!