Today while hoofing it around town doing some grocery shopping for family pizza/movie night we were stopped in the produce section because of my feet. A tiny girl – maybe 6 or 7 years old – called out, “Hey were you that guy from VBS?” I stopped, turned, and said, “Yes.” She then pointed to the pair of The Shoe That Grows hanging from my belt and asked what those were. I took a few seconds and explained that there are some places in the world where kids just like her don’t have shoes at all. They don’t have a choice – and have to walk everywhere, in all weather, at all times barefoot. I said I was choosing to walk barefoot and carry the shoes to help people learn about the kids, and the special shoes we can buy for them. Her eyes got super big…and right there in produce section she took her rain boots off and told her mom she wanted to go barefoot. Her mom was a bit surprised but went with it.
About 10 minutes later in another isle we ran into her again – still barefoot! She asked me what she was supposed to say if someone asked her about her bare feet. I handed her one of the info cards that I carry for just such circumstances. She was super excited because now she could show people with the card what she was doing – and where to learn more. We parted ways for the second time.
Then, surprise, we ran into her again – still bare foot! This time she asked me if she could have some more of those cards…so she could have more to hand out. One was not going to be enough. Needless to say I handed over the rest of my pocket supply of the cards to this child and her mom.
I am consistently amazed by kids. They are seriously moved by the concept that there are kids just like them that don’t have a choice about going bare foot. They want to help kids just like them and so they do the most natural thing they can….they go bare foot. People notice bare footed children – and they worry and they ask the kids (or parents) about it. They even offer to pay for shoes for the child in question. And that is precisely when they speak up and explain that they have a choice and choose to walk bare foot to help raise money for kids just like them who don’t have a choice. People who are moved with compassion to act on behalf of the kids in front of them – then learn of a greater need and are invited to participate.
Lesson: Never underestimate the power of tiny toes and little voices. Kids are world changers.
My kiddo was inspired to do this as well. In fact – I have used some of her own phrasing in this post (some kids have a choice, others don’t) because she nailed it! Check out her Barefoot Challenge Video. Share it with some kids (and adults) in your own life.
As always – don’t forget to check out THE SHOE THAT GROWS, my ORIGINAL BLOG POST (explaining the what and why of my challenge), and the DONATION PAGE. I am doing this to raise funds for the shoes….so go and give! 🙂