Boots and Socks Make A Difference

Over a year ago I was sitting in my living room, talking to Greg and Donna, folks who would later become co-conspirators in Love Wins. Donna was telling me and my wife, Suzanne about her brother, who had once been homeless. She mentioned to us how his biggest need had been shoes and socks. After thinking about that for a while, we decided to start purchasing work boots for the men and women who need them.

Suzanne and I, together with the help of the friends of Love Wins, have been able to buy almost 100 pairs of shoes since starting this in January 2008. In that time, we have seen some incredible reactions from people when they get their new shoes. Here are just a few stories from those ninety.

One man nearly wept as he realized he could get work at a local construction project.

One woman was able to throw away the torn-up shoes she had on and go back to working as a waitress.

We take orders for shoes in advance. One man thanked me three times, not seeming to believe that someone would deliver on a promise to him.  I feel we restored a little hope in his heart to trust people again.

One man quickly sat down in the dirt and put the new shoes on, throwing away the worn out, hole riddled pair he had been wearing.

When we bring down new shoes, it is a gift to see how excited each of them get. I love being a part of that. It has allowed me to find a way into their difficult lives and let them know that I care about them. It only takes about an hour a week to do this, but it impacts and forms my whole week. For them, it is shoes and a chance to go to work and for me, it is a key into getting to know them and letting them know that we love them.

Note from Hugh: It costs us about $30 to buy one pair of steel toe work boots. If you would like to buy a pair for someone, you can donate $30 via PayPal (you don’t have to have a PayPal account) by going to our donate page. Thanks!

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Hugh Hollowell

Author: Hugh Hollowell

Hugh is a Mennonite minister and the founding director of Love Wins. He likes peanut M&Ms.