Friday, March 23, 2012

Show Some Sole: Give Her the Boot -- No Really, It's for a Good Cause

Ian Miller doing what he loved
Recently I received an e-mail from a student at Berks Christian School named Rachel Smith.

A junior there, she is conducting a boot drive for an organization with which I am familiar -- Ian's Boots.

Formed by Ron and Holly Miller, Ian's Boots collects footwear for the needy in memory of their son Ian, who was killed in a 2010 sledding accident while on a Boy Scout trip and whose story became well known for what was found in his boot.

Here is the story I wrote for The Mercury about this remarkable young man.

Inside his boot, the coroner found a typed passage from The Bible, James 1:2-4, which reads: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Since then, Ian's Boots has held soccer tournaments (he loved soccer) and other fund-raisers to provide footwear to the needy.

This is, in part, what Rachel wrote in her e-mail to me:

"In a leadership class at school we were challenged to do a project that was bigger than what we thought we could do. 

"I was very surprised to learn that 3 billion people go without shoes every year, and 1.5 billion un-used shoes are sitting in closets all around the world. My project is to collect shoes for people in the world who are not able to buy them themselves. 

"The shoe drive is from March 24th-March 31st. The organization that I’m working with is called In Ian’s Boots. It is a small Christian organization located in Pottstown that started about two years ago by a family when their son died in a sledding crash. 

Jiggers are a foot parasite common in Africa
"Ian Miller was a student at West-Mont Christian. The shoe drive is involving three schools. Berks Christian School, Conestoga Christian School, and West-Mont Christian School. 

"There will be two large containers at each location. I am so excited about my project. I have seen so many statistics about all the people in the world who die because they don't have shoes, or they have to live with foot diseases for the rest of their life because they can't do anything about it. 

"I hope to have amazing results from this shoe drive."

Rachel did some research and found that 3 billion people go without shoes every year.

This is what Podoconiosis can do to a child's un-shod foot
  • In China and Central America, 740,000,000 people are affected by hookworm. 
  • In Kenya, 1,890,000 are affected by jiggers. 
  • In certain parts of Africa, the Philippines, and Central America, 4,000,000 are affected by Podoconiosis. Podoconiosis is a debilitating and disfiguring sole based disease. 
  • 53 million are affected by parasites. 
  • They are millions of people, who die each year because they don’t have protection on their feet. 
  • In the United States, roughly 350 million pairs of shoes are sold each year. 
  • 1.5 billion unused shoes are sitting in closets. Americans get to have the option of what shoe they want to buy or what shoe they want to wear that day. 
  • Did you know that $1 can buy a pair of shoes in other countries? However, in many countries mentioned, many kids and adults don’t even have $1 to spend.
Shoes can also be donated
here at West-Mont Christian
Academy on S. Hanover St. in
North Coventry
If you want to read more about their story you can go to If you are thinking about donating shoes, please consider who they are going to. Please submit decent old shoes that can still be worn by other children or adults for a while.

"I am so excited about the shoe drive. It is something that recently came to my attention and was a wake-up call to me. I own so many shoes that I don’t really even wear anymore," Rachel wrote.

"When I saw the statistics I was blown away. This is a great opportunity for so many children and families. You don’t want to pass this up!"

If you have any questions, please contact Rachel at


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  3. Thank you for doing this for us Rachel.

    Evan, love the title! Thanks for doing a great post