Like every great story, The Shoe That Grows began with someone seeing a need and figuring out a way to fill it. In 2007, Kenton Lee was living in Nairobi, Kenya. While walking to church one day, he noticed a little girl who was wearing shoes that were way too small. This of course lent itself to the question, “why?” and the resulting answer was an idea. “What if kids had shoes that could adjust and expand, so that they always had a pair that fit?”
According to Lee, there are over 300 million children in the world who don’t have shoes and over 2 billion people who suffer from soil-borne parasites and diseases. Without proper footwear, children are more susceptible to these illnesses and parasites. The Shoe That Grows adjusts five sizes and lasts five years, so an elementary school-aged child can wear it for the duration of their early education.
The shoes themselves come in two sizes: small and large. Small fits children from kindergarten to fourth grade, and the large from fifth grade to ninth grade. They’re made from leather, compressed rubber, and snaps, and are easy to use and to keep clean. Since they’re so lightweight, it’s also very easy to transport several of them at one time. The shoes compress in on themselves so you can fit 50 pairs of them in a suitcase, and the weight won’t exceed around 50 lbs.
While the shoes are available for people here in America, The Shoe That Grows wants us to help with their charitable outreach endeavor: The Fill a Duffle Bag program costs $10 per pair of shoes and as each duffle is filled, the shoes are sent to areas in need. You can even select the area to which your donation will go.
The shoes are currently sold out, but as of July, there will be 5,000 more pairs available for purchase.
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Images via The Shoe That Grows