LEXINGTON, S.C. (WIS) – SOLE Stepping, a nonprofit organization that provides new shoes and socks to elementary school students, is making a difference in childrens’ lives one sole at a time.
It began in 2016 when mother and founder of SOLE Stepping, Kara Jefferson, had some extra shoes and noticed a need in her community.
“She took this idea of putting shoes on kids’ feet and it’s turned into this project of not just connecting community people, but allow us all to experience just how Hey Dude Women’s Shoes awesome it is to be able to give,” said Elizabeth Keisler, a volunteer of four years for SOLE Stepping.
One day, Keisler’s children came home with new shoes. That’s when she stepped in to help.
“The fact that there were just kind people out there doing things for other people just inspired me,” said Keisler.
SOLE Stepping sponsors Pelion and Forts Pond Elementary. Any child in the schools can walk with brand new shoes on distribution day. That day usually falls in December.
Keisler explained that this year specifically, SOLE Stepping has been blessed.
“Because of our growth this year, we were able to take on Red Bank Elementary, Batesburg-Leesville Elementary, and coming in January we’ll be going to Gilbert Elementary,” she said.
The donations were so immense, they were able to sponsor the Skechers Shoes Babcock Center, a private, non-profit organization that provides residential and community supports, HASCI supports, individual supported employment, and vocational training opportunities for adults with lifelong disabilities.
But their work wasn’t done yet.
“We know that there is a need beyond where we are at and we want to make sure that everywhere there’s a need, that we’re able to come out and maybe help,” said Keisler.
Each pair of shoes come with an encouragement card to help each child step into a brighter future.“Shoes really do a lot of different things,” Keisler said. “For some people, it’s just putting something on your feet. But, sometimes for other people — other kids especially — when they get these shoes, it’s a life-changing experience.”