How To Make the World a Better Place (One Pair of Shoes at a Time)

It can feel like everything’s going wrong this year. We have news and media constantly telling us what’s wrong in the world. 

But that doesn’t mean it’s all bad. There’s a ton of good stuff happening in the world. Every day people are helping their friends, neighbors, and strangers.

Holding doors, paying for coffees, meals, and groceries. Driving them to appointments.

We just have to look a little harder to find positive news. At Fleek Kidz, we don’t think it should be that way ... 

So were bringing positive stories to you.  

And it’s not just adults doing great things to make the world a better place. Kids are getting in on the action too.

A lot of kids are passionate about things these days whether it’s helping the environment, animals, the elderly, or other kids. They’re eager to help and aren’t afraid to work to make their world a better place.

Today we’re gonna bring you a story of one particular kid who saw a need and actually did something about it.

But first ...

There’s a Problem 

There’s a problem in our society. Too many people, kids included, are homeless. 

How many of you have seen homeless people during your daily life? Probably most of us, it’s a major problem. 

But what do you do about it? 

You might give them some extra change if you have it, buy them a coffee, or you might ignore them completely. We’re not here to judge ... A lot of us are struggling to keep up with our own daily life demands, we can forget to be compassionate to others struggling as well. 

We just want to create some awareness. Awareness of the problem, but also of small things we can all do to help improve the lives of others. 

People struggling with homelessness have a story. They’re not all drug addicts, thieves, or criminals. 

Some of them choose to live on the streets. Others have had hard times and haven’t been able to recover. 

But we want to focus on ...

Solutions 

For every problem, there’s a solution. We’re not talking about earth-shaking new ways of doing things. We’re talking about small, simple things people can do to make a small difference. Enough small actions put together can create massive change in someone’s life. 

So let’s get to our story …

Our story is about a boy who saw a problem and wanted to fix it — or at least help as much as he could.  

Nicholas Lowinger was about 5 years old when his mother first took him to a homeless shelter to see how other people lived. He remembers he had just gotten a new pair of sneakers and when his mom took him there, he saw all these kids with tattered shoes or none at all. 

This experience sowed the seed of wanting to help others. 

He started to donate his own old pairs of shoes. But he realized they wouldn’t fit some kids, so that wasn’t enough … he had to do more …

The only way the kids could have comfortable shoes that fit correctly was if they had their own new pair. 

Gotta Have Sole 

When Nicholas was 12, he officially started Gotta Have Sole. A charity that provides new sneakers for kids in homeless shelters. 

Early on in his journey, he met a brother and sister affected by homelessness. They took turns going to school because they only had one pair of shoes to share. 

They were pink girls’ shoes and they were especially difficult for the brother to wear. He was being bullied and didn’t want to go to school anymore.

Once they each had their own pair of shoes, they could go to school together. The brother was excited to go to school. He wasn’t being bullied as much and was generally happier. 

With a new pair of shoes, kids can attend school and feel more confident and comfortable to pursue sports or any other dream they have. 

When Nicholas saw the difference shoes could make in the life of a child he knew he had to keep doing it. 

The Snowball Effect 

Now, Gotta Have Sole has given shoes to over 100,000 kids in homeless shelters! We think that’s pretty amazing! 

The charity has since grown to include programs for others as well. They have a “SOLEdier” program that provides new shoes to veterans. 

They have also grown to include scholarships to provide extraordinary youth with the chance to keep moving forward in higher education. 

They’ve created youth group clubs that offer after school programs. The youth-led clubs fundraise and deliver shoes to homeless shelters. There’s also a college ambassador program to help homeless youth develop skills. 

All of this is possible because Gotta Have Sole runs all kinds of fundraisers, sports tournaments, and shoe drives where people can donate shoes or funds to help the cause. They have all kinds of creative ways to donate.  

It’s amazing how this one child's idea has snowballed into all kinds of programs that help kids, youth, and adults all over the country improve their lives.  

The Bottom Line

Our hope is that you can see how small acts of kindness can snowball and have a huge impact on the world. 

So what do you see in your daily life that could be improved? It can be a personal improvement or a way to help others. Everyone has something to contribute … whether it’s time, money, resources, or ideas. 

Our goal with posts like this is to inspire more adults and kids to do their part to spread more love. 

If you see an injustice or something that needs to be done, do something about it. Stand up for what’s right. Small actions can balloon into big movements that can change the world. 

Kids are our future and the world is theirs, so let’s try to make it better, together. 

Do you know a kid doing something amazing in the world or their community? Let us know about them in the comments.

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