#GivingShoesday for #GivingTuesday

DFN Has a Brand New Partner, the Shoe that Grows!

 

We are excited to announce a brand new partnership for #GivingTuesday with the Shoe that Grows!

If you haven’t heard of them, you will! They’ve been featured on the CBS Evening News and even in international media. They are getting loads of attention, and DFN is honored to be involved.

Their story began when Founder and Executive Director Kenton Lee was living and working in Nairobi, Kenya in 2007.

One day while walking to church, he noticed a little girl in a white dress next to him who had shoes that were way too small for her feet. That led to questions about why.

And finally an idea: “Wouldn’t it be great if there was a shoe that could adjust and expand – so that kids always had a pair of shoes that fit?”

And just like that The Shoe That Grows was born.

Here’s why they did it

And here’s how it works:

The DFN Connection

Most Dalit children live in extreme poverty. Their families struggle to provide basic needs, including shoes. When a few DFN staffers visited some of the Good Shepherd Schools in India last February and saw the condition of many students’ footwear, something clicked. We thought, “Our students need durable shoes that grow with them. Why don’t we reach out to Kenton to see if he’s open to a partnership?” So we did, he thought it was a great idea, we ran it by our partners in India, and here we are today. Currently, the Shoe that Grows is distributed in Africa, South America, and the Caribbean, but DFN is the first to take it to India.

Students' shoes at GSS in Hyderabad, India

Students’ shoes at a GSS in Hyderabad, India

The Details

With the help of our Indian partners, we are testing the Shoe that Grows on 100 students in schools in and around Hyderabad. They will distribute the shoes to the children who need them most and will follow up. If the shoes work well during the pilot program, it is conceivable that the shoes could become a regular part of a student’s school uniform. That would be huge and would be one less thing for parents to worry about!

The Challenge & How You Can Help

We need to provide our Indian partners with 100 pairs of shoes! It’s so simple to get involved. All you need to do is buy a pair of shoes. Or 10 pairs! They cost just $15.00 each and you can purchase them here. DFN will get them to Hyderabad in February and we’ll let you know how the pilot program goes.

So How Does #GivingTuesday Fit In?

We’re so excited about the potential of this partnership that we are giving it our full attention on #GivingTuesday. In case you haven’t heard, #GivingTuesday is a global day dedicated to giving back.We will have just finished Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, and on Tuesday, December 1, 2015, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. What better time than this to give a pair of shoes that last to a Dalit child who needs them?

Do I Have To Wait Until December 1 to Give a Pair?

No! We have set up a special donation page so you can be involved right now!

Give Shoes Now

What Else Can I Do?

Tell people about this! Share the opportunity on Facebook and Twitter! Share this blog post! And watch for details about what you can do on #GivingTuesday itself!

If you have any questions about the way this works, please e-mail us at info@dalitnetwork.org. We’ll answer your question right away!

Sisters, Glowing Faces, Biscuits…and Love

*Guest blog by a member of DFN’s Church Relations team

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I saw that glow today; that radiant twinkle children get in their eyes when they just have to do something to help others. It’s a pure combination of excitement and selflessness that’s quite uncommon these days and so, when I happened upon it, I was both deeply moved and grateful to be a witness.

Last week, I had the honor of being at a sponsorship event held by Crossroads Church in Georgia with some of the most pleasant people I’ve had the privilege of meeting. Georgia is indeed the definition of top-notch hospitality and southern comfort (and the best biscuits in existence).

After one of the services, a mom and her two girls came to the table to pick out a little girl to sponsor. You would have thought it was Christmas morning. I couldn’t believe my eyes. These girls were excitedly jumping up and down with pleas of, “Can we, can we?” and after their mother’s nod, many stretches of “Yes! Yes! Yes!” proceeded from their sweet little faces amidst their eager, beaming smiles – and glowing eyes. I was stunned. My first thought? This is love – then I heard their story.

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These two little sisters have been making and selling crafts for some time in order to raise enough money to start sponsoring their precious little girl from India. So today was the day. They had raised enough and had already, excitedly, started listing off ways they could continue to raise more funds.

On the verge of tears, I don’t think I moved for a couple minutes in an attempt to soak in the sweetness of what I had just experienced. Their sacrifice of time and gift of all they had for a precious little one on the other side of the world that they had never met? Incredible. I can still see the joyous glow in their eyes when they selected their little girl’s profile, almost as if to say, “You will be alright now, we’ll take care of you.” I’m so humbled to have witnessed such a moment, a beautiful moment that slowed time and quieted the hustle of life. This is love.