Saving Soles

During this Holiday season, whether we are celebrating Christmas, Hanukah or just celebrating life with family and loved ones, I encourage anyone whose eyes meet these words to consider the great abundance we have in our lives. We wake up with a roof over our head. We stay busy with fulfilling tasks and duties that return to us either a paycheck or a sense of fulfillment. Our bellies are filled to contentand in my case – beyond.

Any journey we take, we have the luxury of taking it in comfort and often times in style. Our cars have air conditioning, radio and GPS guidance. I wonder how often we take even the simplest of these niceties for granted. We walk on smooth sidewalks, drive on paved roads and stand on plush carpet. Take a minute to think about how wonderful that is. Consider even the shoes on your feet and how they offer support in times of need but they can also protect, cushion and comfort.

Now consider living a life outside of these conditions. Across the world, children do not consider carpet, sidewalks, air-conditioned cars and plush leather seats. They simply struggle with walking from point A to point B, shoeless. Think about the list of worries and complaints you have today. It is said that if we were all to throw our problems into a giant pile for everyone to see that we would quickly take our problems back. The lack of shoes to populations of the world is a problem that I would like to address today.

I encourage all readers to visit and

These are two of my favorite charities. In developing countries, the leading causes of disease are transmitted via soil. Many children grow up barefoot with out needed protection. They are at increased risk of infection and in some instances are not allowed to attend schools if they are without shoes. For these reasons we should take a minute to honor these and similar charities.

Soles4souls is a non-profit organization that began acquiring new shoes to take to those in need. This started after founder Wayne Elsey saw a single shoe wash up on shore after the devastating 2004 Tsunami that hit Southeast Asia. Elsey began contacting executives in the footwear industry to help send shoes to those in need. He repeated his efforts after hurricane Katrina smashed the Gulf coast. He soon felt prompted to continue his efforts through this non-profit charity.

In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie traveled to Argentina. Upon making friends with locals he discovered the incredible lack of shoes amongst the Argentine children. He started a shoe company that would match each purchase of shoes with one pair to send to needy children around the world. He returned to Argentina with friends, family and 10,000 pairs of shoes. His company is one of the most popular brands today and TOMS has given over 2 million pairs of shoes to those in need.

This season of thanks and charity, please take a moment to appreciate all that you have, and another minute to help those who have not.

For more information please contact Dr. Jeffrey Bowman of Houston Foot Specialists at (713) 467-8886 or online at

Category: Foot Health

Tags: Barefoot, Children Foot Care, Foot Charities, Footwear, shoes