Choose Shoes

How many pairs of shoes do you own? Last year, Americans purchased 2 million pairs of new shoes. To make more room in their closets, they discarded more than 300 million pairs of gently-worn shoes, many of which ended up in landfills. Meanwhile … more than 300 million children worldwide do not have one pair to call their own. Going without shoes exposes boys and girls to injury and infection from cuts, burns, punctures, and bites. Imagine scavenging in a garbage dump or walking many miles to fetch water for your family — without shoes to protect your feet. Barefoot children are more susceptible to soil-transmitted parasites like hookworm and roundworm. Lack of shoes, a required part of a school uniform, prevents many children from getting an education.

Engage your kids in learning about this issue and becoming a part of the solution. Here are 3 ways:

1. Stand4Kids created a 30-minute lesson for ages 6-11 called Choose Shoes. A PowerPoint of photos introduces your kids to shoe issues around the world. The lesson includes a small group activity, Bible time, prayer, and project suggestions.

2. Collect shoes and donate them to Soles4Souls. The fun thing about this organization is that it accepts all types of shoes, just as long as they are new or gently worn. Because children outgrow shoes so quickly, it is easy for familes to participate. You’ll get their parents’ shoes, too. Here are directions for hosting a shoe drive. Soles4Souls will provide free collection boxes and flyers to promote the project. Where do the shoes go? New and high grade used shoes are distributed for crisis relief in the United States and abroad. Lower grade used shoes and shoes inappropriate for crisis relief (like high heels) are provided to micro-enterprise programs in developing countries like Haiti, Tanzania, and Honduras. If you choose this project, show your kids this 3-minute video of shoes being distributed on the field. This is a great way to end your project.

3. Donate new shoes, socks, and shoelaces to Buckner International’s Soles for Orphan Souls program. For a personal touch, your children can place a family picture and a note for the child on the receiving end inside each pair of shoes they donate. Buckner staff and their partners deliver shoes to orphanages and children in need in 74 countries, including the United States. Here are suggestions for hosting a successful shoe drive. When you sign up, you’ll receive a free DVD, posters, and brochures. If you choose this project, show your kids a 2-minute video about how shoes help children.

These projects are fun because they are so hands-on, but don’t forget the spiritual aspect. During your project wrap-up, have a shoe dedication ceremony. Let your kids hold a pair of shoes they donated. Lead your children in praying for those who will receive the shoes. Pray that they will have the opportunity to learn about Jesus and follow him for a lifetime.


One Response to “Choose Shoes”

  • amy staley says:

    Hello! We are looking for a good mission activity for our kids group to do this summer- this sounds like a good one! Any more information you can give me on how to do this would be appreciated! Thank you- Amy Staley Bridger Valley Assembly of God

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