Shoe Stories – A Downtown Encounter

Fast lane teetering on four-inch heels

Walking the ‘solo mio’ gait of sidewalk contempt,

A sneering face dripped on One as she passed by;

Seeing duct-taped shoes, her hurry was hell-bent.

She wanted to run from this hand reaching out.

But, in her heels there was no hastening.

In her shoes there was a rub…

In her heart there was a chastening.


Stopping suddenly, down she leaned, and lower still

Breaking a heel, snap! Breaking a heart, crack!

The heart which broke was her own of scorn

A glass cover for a heart so torn.

In broken shoe now, assessing that neither could be worn

Her gait would be uneven.

She tossed them off and chose to bare her feet. 

She was no longer leaving.


Her approach to the hastily-taped shoes was impassioned

Feet burning, she knew He would have good news.

“Tell me how You walk in those duct-taped shoes.

I know the dangers of open grates and escalators.

I know every pothole and pitfall in this city.

But in those hour-inch heels,

These impediments bring me no pity.

And here are You, One resting so easily

In Your untied, unfit duct-taped shoes.

Tell me, Foot-Soldier, what is Your news?”


© 2013 Teresa Sandhu


New Shoes Help Kids Cross Barriers

From: Helping homeless kids put their best foot forward       By Laura Klairmont, CNN

When five-year-old Nicholas Lowinger visited a homeless shelter, his mother cautioned him not to show off his new light-up sneakers to the kids there. Nicholas soon understood why.

“I saw other kids my age who looked just like me. The only difference was, they were wearing old, tattered shoes that were falling apart. Some didn’t have a pair of shoes to call their own,” said Nicholas, now 15. …”Homeless children…shouldn’t have to worry about not being able to play sports or go to school because they don’t have a pair of shoes.”

That first shelter visit left a strong impression on Nicholas, who started donating all the shoes he’d outgrown to local shelters. But he quickly realized that his donations, while well-intentioned, weren’t that helpful. “It bothered me that I only had used shoes to give to them instead of new shoes that fit right,” he said. “No two people’s feet are identical, and if you are wearing someone else’s worn shoes, your feet aren’t going to be very comfortable.”

So in 2010, at the age of 12, Nicholas started a program that donates new shoes to homeless children…”I didn’t want to make one donation and stop there,” he said. “I wanted it to be something I could do for the rest of my life.” With the help of his parents, he then started the Gotta Have Sole Foundation. Since 2010, the organization has donated new footwear to more than 10,000 homeless children in 21 states.