One Thousand Soles




Teenagers in Salem, OR are working to make sure every kid in their community has at least one pair of shoes. On the surface, this sounds like an unusual project. Perhaps . . . but when you read more, it seems the most natural thing in the world.

It all started as a community project last year led by one teacher and eighteen students at South Salem High School.

Here’s one of the stories that started it all: There were two brothers who attended school in a strangely systematic way. One would attend school and then be absent for a week or so when the other brother attended. The teens found out it was because the brothers only had one pair of shoes between them, so they had to take turns wearing them to school.

And then the students learned about the number of homeless kids (1,511 in their county), many who had no shoes. Other kids regularly used duct tape to keep their shoes together because there was no money for a new pair.


These teen community servants have arranged two dozen drop off zones for donated shoes. They hope to receive mostly new shoe donations, but gladly accept gently used shoes.

Anytime I hear about teens making such a profound difference in their communities, I rejoice. Teens like this are an inspiration and a model for all of us!

Kudos to you great teens in Salem! Thank you for your humanity and love.

What about you? Have you heard of any great teen community projects lately? Or have you been involved in one yourself? I’d love to hear about it!

And as always, thanks for stopping by.


Read more about One Thousand Soles here.

Good, Clean, Teen Reads


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