International (BOC/MNN) — Shoes for Orphan Souls helps the Gospel get a foot in the door.
Pun aside, for Buckner International, shoes lead to more discussions. Buckner looks at it this way: Jesus gave us the example of His own ministry by supplying the physical needs of the people He was trying to reach. In this case, shoes are a display of God’s love. Before they ever get to the child, the shoes are prayed for many times. Whoever delivers them to Buckner-sponsored kids does it because of the hope of Christ.
Why do shoes matter? In many countries where Buckner serves, children are forced to walk barefoot for miles to gather clean water, to visit a doctor, or to go to school. Diseases such as hookworm, jiggers, tetanus, and other parasites enter the body through the feet. These diseases can stunt a child’s growth and development, as well as cause life-long cognitive impairment. Walking barefoot in rocky or muddy terrain can also cause injury to a child’s feet, further opening the possibility for infection or disease.
Many schools around the world require children to wear shoes to attend, but for many poverty-stricken families, shoes are a luxury they cannot afford. Studies also show that children who are healthy are more likely to be successful in school and have higher attendance, therefore increasing their chances of obtaining critical education to succeed in life.
For the orphans, new shoes are a constant and urgent need. Typically in orphanages, everyone shares everything. They do not own a single possession to their name. So when you give an orphan a new pair of shoes, it communicates love and helps them know they are special–worth remembering. Something as simple as a pair of new shoes provides hope for these children that someone out there cares about them and loves them unconditionally.
Buckner is always looking for creative ways to get more people involved. This one involves running shoes and you. When you #RUNforSHOES, you’re raising awareness and support for orphans and vulnerable children who need your help. Their goal is to raise enough funds to provide 200 children in the United States and around the world with a new pair of shoes.
Pick any day between October 3 and October 10, grab your friends, and dedicate your daily run or walk to children in need. Whether you take a walk around the block or go for a five mile run, get outside and move in support of the children we serve.
Register online today and you’ll receive a #RUNforSHOES t-shirt and a link to download your runner’s bib and a photo of a child you can choose to run for. Easy, peasy.