Posts Tagged ‘ volunteer travel ’

Welcome to “The Best Shoes are Free”

As many of you know by now, I am joining Soles4Souls from July 25th – July 29th on a trip to Costa Rica that promises to be life-changing. During this trip, I will be joining 16 other volunteers to help distribute shoes and clothing to those in need. From the Soles4Souls web site:

The purpose of for this trip is to allow team members to experience firsthand Changing the World One Pair at a Time. Your work will focus on serving the needs of the Costa Ricans by providing individual attention in fitting the locals with clothes and shoes. Our team will be distributing shoes to groups of at risk youth and indigenous groups including at the Village of Hope in La Carpio just outside of San Jose.  At the Village of Hope we will supply shoes for youth and young adults ages 1-25.  We also work with other organizations to distribute shoes at two other similar locations in the San Jose area.

It is amazing to think about, but the sheer impact of fitting a child with brand new shoes is staggering.

Over 300 million children worldwide are without shoes.

Shoes are very often considered a required part of the school uniform in developing countries, and without shoes, many children are unable to attend school.

Many serious health conditions can be absorbed through the feet, even through the toughest soles. As the skin on the bottom of the feet toughens and thickens, large cracks can form, which allows parasitic infections such as hookworm and threadworm to penetrate the skin. In addition, constant cuts and scrapes to the feet and ankles frequently become infected and many of these infections can lead to ulcers and worse.

There is no substitute for the face-to-face, individual time that will be spent between volunteers and recipients. That is why these trips are so important. I will be keeping this blog as a place to first fund-raise for my trip and share wonderful articles, photos, and news from Soles4Souls, then to document my journey via photos, tweets, and blog posts. I ask, if you haven’t yet, to please consider making a donation via my personal fund-raising web site. Any amount, big or small, truly helps. One dollar can put one pair of shoes on a child and literally change his or her life. It is a small gesture, from the donation process to the actual fulfillment of distribution, but its impact is large and loud.

Not convinced? Visit Soles4Souls Facebook page and give them a “like”. Check out their amazing photo galleries and stories of recent trips to Haiti, India, and Peru. The stories are heartwarming and truly inspirational.

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