A pair of black Converse sneakers. Photo by Brooke Fishwick from Wikimedia.


There are various things in life that many take for granted–like shoes. Sixteen-year-old Nicholas Lowinger of Rhode Island has been dedicating the past four years to the organization that he started, serving as a middleman for donating shoes to homeless kids.

Lowinger started the Gotta Have Sole Foundation back in 2010 at the young age of 12. Since the organization began, shoes have been delivered to more than 10,000 homeless children in 21 states in the United States. The Gotta Have Sole foundation is a non-profit organization that works with homeless shelters, giving kids donated shoes.

More than 1,000 volunteers have helped Lowinger with the organization. The shoes are donated by shoe companies and stores. Lowinger stores the shoes in his garage at home.

Gotta Have Soles started off as a project that Lowinger initially planned as a community service project. However, after realizing how huge this problem was, Lowinger decided to take a further step, and with the help of his parents, he was able to expand the program. “By giving new footwear to homeless children, I’m making sure [they] and their families have at least one less thing to worry about,” ¬†Lowinger stated to CNN news in an article published in Sept. 2013.

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