Spotlight Non-profit: One teen helps homeless children get their “sole”

LatinaLista — Doing good deeds has nothing to do with age. We just have to look at the success one Providence, Rhode Island boy has had in fulfilling a mission he started at the age of five!

Nicholas Lowinger, now a teenager, was five years old when he accompanied his mom to a homeless shelter where she did volunteer work. Nicholas noticed that many of the children had old shoes, tattered shoes and some had no shoes at all. He wanted to help and started donating his old shoes to the children in the shelter. It wasn’t until he saw one little boy thrilled to receive a pair of boots that were several sizes too big for him that Nicholas realized the importance of getting the homeless children new shoes that were in their own size.

It was while he was planning for his Bar Mitzvah project in 2010 that Nicholas and his parents came up with a formal plan for what he had been doing all along and a name — Gotta Have Sole Foundation.

Today, Nicholas’s vision of providing children living in homeless shelters new shoes extends beyond his home state of Rhode Island. His organization has touched the lives of children living in homeless shelters across the country.

So far, over 2800 children in homeless shelters in New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington, DC, Texas, Connecticut and New Hampshire have received over 4,000 pairs of sneakers, shoes and boots. Plans are to expand even further in the coming years.

The children are assured of getting shoes in their correct sizes because each shelter takes the children’s foot measurements and then submits an order to Nicholas’s organization. Within the week, shoes are delivered to the children.

Gotta Have Sole accepts money to buy the new shoes and also brand new shoes.

New shoes not only provide the perfect fit for a child, but they also aid in increasing a child’s self-esteem. The exuberant expression on the children’s faces while receiving these shoes has been greatly satisfying to me. Parents and shelter advocates continue to comment on how happy the children are when they receive their new footwear. The parents have said that without my program, they would never have been able to provide their children with such well-made footwear and how this has made such a positive difference in their children’s lives ~ Nicholas Lowinger.

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