Shoes one easy solution to disease increase in Haiti

By March 18, 2010

Haiti (MNN) — Sources say disease has already increased a great deal as Haitians are heaped together in relief camps. Conditions are expected to worsen upon the arrival of the upcoming rainy season.

Children are perhaps most at risk. According to the New York Times, human waste is beginning to pile up in relief camps. Many people do not even have shoes to prevent bringing disease into their bodies through their feet.

Rachel Garton of Buckner International Shoes for Orphan Souls says many Haitian children did not have shoes before the quake hit. In the aftermath, shoes are a greater commodity, which has proven to be a problem.

"You can imagine, with the earthquake, all of the glass and debris," explains Garton. "This is not a time that children need to be going shoeless, because obviously going barefoot really can open them up to get all kinds of cuts and infections that go through their feet."

Government agencies continue to search for ways to prevent disease, but shoes are certainly one option. "Just by putting a pair of shoes on a child, we can increase their health by 50 percent," says Garton.

Shoes for Orphan Souls has been working with Hope Hospital in Haiti, GAiN and several other ministries to distribute 43,000 pairs of shoes. They hope to send at least 25,000 more pairs to Haiti in one or two more shoe shipments.

With each pair of shoes sent down, the Gospel is shared. While learning practically about physical healing, children hear about Christ as their spiritual healer. One pair of shoes can open the door for a child to hear about eternal life with Christ.

Shoes for Orphan Souls needs your help to keep this ministry alive. After sending so many shoes to Haiti, the Shoes for Orphan Souls stock is depleting. Please consider hosting a shoe drive or donating shoes directly through Shoes for Orphan Souls online. For more information on how you specifically can help, visit

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