18-year-old Madison Meeker started a shoe drive two years ago with a big goal in mind. She and her family set out to collect 25,000 pairs of shoes to support Soles4Souls’ mission. 25,000 pairs is a number that stands out at Soles4Souls because, once a shoe drive host reaches 25,000 pairs, they are awarded an international trip to distribute shoes to children in need.
Madison exceeded that goal and earned a trip to Haiti. Haiti was especially impactful because there, Madison was able to meet Haitian entrepreneurs her shoe drive directly impacted. The shoes Madison collected help entrepreneurs start and sustain small businesses selling gently used shoes to provide for their families.
Before arriving to Haiti, Madison didn’t fully understand the effect she was making. “It has more of an impact than I thought it would, so it’s really amazing to be here.” Meeting the entrepreneurs gave her a whole new perspective and was eye-opening for her to witness their everyday lives. “Being here, seeing it, made it so much more clear that it really has an impact on their lives . I got to see the specific things that those shoes were going to.”
And get this…Madison is not done collecting shoes yet! She and her family have set out to collect 25,000 shoes again. “This experience was really enlightening and I want to come back here if I can and inspire more people to do it.” We cannot wait to see how many lives she will impact in the future. Are you interested in hosting a shoe drive of your own? Get started here.