My name is Keegan Scholte.  I’m a junior at Gobles High School, and I’m 17 years old.  I thoroughly enjoy going barefoot and I’ve kind of developed a reputation of being “that kid that never wears shoes”. 

One day after church, a friend and I were talking about my “barefootedness”.  He challenged me to consider doing something with my big ol’ bare feet to help others.  This friend (who was also my youth group leader) had spent some time in Swaziland, Africa serving in an orphanage.  He told me about kids in that country who were unable to attend school because they had no shoes.  Apparently a school uniform is required and provided for the children – but shoes are also required and not provided.  Kids just couldn’t go to school because they had no shoes. Some kids would even prostitute themselves in order to get enough money to buy shoes.  This pretty much tugged at my heart.  I figured I could do something to help a few kids get shoes so they could get to school.  So, that day as we brainstormed ways to help kids get shoes, “A Year without Shoes” was born and I’ve been “shoeless” since August 12, 2011.

I plan to go 365 days without shoes and have a goal to purchase and deliver 365 pairs of shoes.  My original plan since the beginning last August had been to purchase them from Tom’s Shoes in order to effectively double the benefit because they always donate one pair of shoes to children in need for every pair they sell.  However, the cost of 365 pairs of shoes from Tom’s would be $14,600, including standard shipping within the US.  Because of this we are currently, since February 2012, investigating alternative sources, including from within the country or countries they would be going to.  It is my desire to get the cost of the shoes down to about $7,500.  There will be additional shipping charges since my goal is to get the shoes to the African continent.  I spoke earlier of a specific orphanage in Swaziland, Africa where my youth group leader has a contact.  It appears now, in March 2012, that some circumstances may be changing and other doors are opening up in Uganda. We’re still sorting out details but please know that 100% of the money donated will be used to purchase and deliver these shoes.  The goal is pretty gigantic but I believe anything is possible when people care.  Whether I reach this ultimate goal or not, whatever is donated will purchase shoes for kids in need so it will be a success, either way.

So, how is a teenager managing all the money and logistics, you ask?  Well, I have a great support system of family and friends.  My parents are helping with the big details along with my church, Freshwater Community Church in Paw Paw, Michigan.  The church will be accepting all the donations and helping to manage the funds. Please check out the donate tab for more details on donating!!

Thanks for stopping by.  Take off your shoes and stay a while!


P.S.  Check out my facebook page for lots of photos and more interesting posts.  
It's called A Year Without Shoes