Soles4Souls fights poverty by providing new shoes and clothing to those who do without in 127 countries, including all 50 U.S. states; and by helping the disadvantaged in the developing world start and maintain small businesses selling shoes and clothes.
Real LifeI write a year-end reflection every December and it's always bittersweet.
Bitter because the work you support takes us to places that are uncomfortable. Poverty is never pretty - whether in underdeveloped nations where people survive on less than $1.90 a day, or in the U.S. where 1/3 of families struggle to make ends meet, or anywhere when disaster strikes. Sweet because these are also the places that show us the best of the human spirit.
The spirit of the volunteers who traveled with us to sit across from a child, rinse off the dirt from their feet and slip on a brand new - and often first/only - pair of shoes.
And the spirit of our partners who help us reach victims of neglect, abuse and circumstance. Many have themselves overcome the odds and dedicate their lives to empowering others.
And the spirit of those who stand strong in the face of adversity. Ana Rodriguez evacuated her Houston home in August fleeing Hurricane Harvey. She pretends it's all part of a vacation for the sake of her young son, but the rebuilding process has been anything but. When her family received your gift of new shoes, she found a renewed sense of hope. "We may have problems, but we'll forge ahead".
And today, I especially remember your great spirit. That spirit of generosity that sustained your financial support of Soles4Souls through the bitter and sweet of 2017. Your sacrifice, care and love are the reason poverty won't ever overcome us. Thank you!