From receiving to giving, the Brown family shares a full circle moment with Soles4Souls!
One of the most rewarding things about our work at Soles4Souls is meeting the people who benefit from the generosity of our donors, volunteers and supporters. Each of them represents an amazing story of strength and perseverance in the face of poverty, disaster or loss. Once in a while, we get really lucky and see those stories come full circle. That’s when they become extraordinary.
The Brown family’s journey with us is one that we love as much as anything else we’ve been a part, especially because it unfolded in our own backyard of Nashville, TN. Our headquarters plug us into a vibrant culture made famous by country music, but also remind us of the poverty that plagues our own nation – 19% live below the poverty line, 30.5% of them are children. Making a difference in our city means a great deal to Soles4Souls.
Nine years ago, Sharon Brown and her ten children sought refuge in a shelter after a violent incident in their home. They left everything behind, arriving only with the hope for a better life. Starting over would be hard, but with a little help from a lot of kind people and brand new pairs of shoes from Soles4Souls, not impossible.
Fast forward to last year. Adio and Chike, the older twin boys, stand proud in front of their mother as they accept certificates of completion for the Soles4Souls Capstone Fellowship. We developed this program to help local high school seniors learn about global poverty solutions, entrepreneurship and service while fulfilling graduation requirements. The two had worked hard and were now enjoying a celebration dinner before their shoe distribution trip to Honduras, the final piece of the puzzle. And it was then when Sharon introduced herself and connected the dots for us all. Wow! is really all that we could…and can…say.
Adio and Chike joined us, the other Fellows and teachers in Honduras that May to deliver the gift of new shoes to children in need and meet the micro-entrepreneurs who would benefit from their tireless used shoe collection efforts.
“Years ago, I was on the receiving end and now here I am, getting this opportunity to be directly on the giving end,” reflects Adio. “Now it’s my responsibility to do for some kids out there what was done for me.”
So back to why we love this story. We know that Adio and Chike will continue to “be the change they wish to see in the world”. We’re humbled to know that we—you, us, all the people who reached out to them when they needed it most—had a small part in making that happen.
Watch their inspiring video below:
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