About Share Your Soles
What if you could change the world? Would you?
"Over a 1.5 million pairs of shoes delivered in 12 years"
In 1999, Mona Purdy traveled through Central America, and saw children painting tar on the soles of their bare feet so they could run a race during their village's festival. She happened to meet an American orthopedic surgeon who was visiting the village. He told Mona that if these children had shoes to wear, there would be a lot less need for him to regularly travel to the region to perform amputations of children's infected limbs. It was really very simple.
When Mona got home, she thought it would be a good idea to go around to some neighborhood schools and ask families to donate any used children's shoes they might have. She collected some and brought them to an orphanage in Honduras. She figured she'd done a good deed and that her work was done. When she was about to leave, one of the workers at the orphanage asked,"When are you coming back?" Coming back? I'm not coming back. This was a one-time thing...
The question changed Mona's life.
Soon, more schools became involved. Word traveled. Church groups. Scout troops. Civic organizations. The shoe drives began to attract attention. First newspapers. Then, radio. Television. The shoes began pouring in from all over the country, filling Mona's garage, basement, and driveway. Thousands and thousands of pairs. It soon became clear that the Share Your Soles movement was spreading faster than Mona could have ever imagined. Before long, Mona faced some critical decisions. Shoes would go to the most desperately needy people she could possibly reach. That meant enlisting the aid of shippers and airlines. Government agencies. Embassies. Small businesses. Government officials. Consulates. Major corporations. Shoes were to be given in a way that respected and honored the dignity of those who would receive them. Sanitized with hot water and bleach. Polished. Sorted. Those with holes, tears, excessive wear? Discarded. Every person who received a pair of shoes would get shoes that were clean and in good condition. They would not receive garbage.
Since then, Share Your Soles has brought tens of thousands of pairs of shoes to desperately impoverished people throughout the world. Central America. Southeast Asia. The Caribbean. Appalachia. Africa. Eastern Europe. American Indian Reservations. India. Ecuador. Peru. Haiti. Sri Lanka. Uganda. Cameroon. Nicaragua. Tanzania and Ghana. No boundaries. No borders.
Share Your Soles is not a political organization. We have no religious affiliation. We do not claim to know the causes of poverty throughout the world. We only know it exists, and we do what we can to help.
Thank you for your interest,
P.S. When you choose to make a difference in an innocent child’s life, you bring love, hope and a sense of belonging into their life – as well as your own.