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When you lace up your shoes for the Riverstone Wicked Fun Run, you can help low-income children do the same. The event — taking place from 8-11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 — will benefit Sole Loved, a non-profit whose mission is to bring hope and joy to children one pair of shoes at a time.
The race takes place at The Club at Riverstone, 18353 University Boulevard, and includes timed competitive and non-competitive waves. Participants will receive t-shirts and be treated to water, fruit, healthy snacks and a photo booth. The race fee is $35 for competitive racers and $25 for non-competitive participants. You can register here.
Participants can choose to donate new kids’ tennis shoes of equal value to Sole Loved instead. Refunds will be given once you turn in your shoes during pre-packet pickup or the day of the event. All proceeds from the event will benefit Sole Loved.
Sole Loved was founded in 2017 when founder Stacy Bourgeois noticed the homeless wearing shoes that were worn, didn’t fit properly or not wearing shoes at all. She was
helping the homeless on the streets of Houston when a chance incident changed her life.
Stacy met a young teen who was barefoot and had nothing but the clothes she was wearing and a tiny backpack that carried the meager belongings. Stacy’s heart broke for her. She gave the teen the shoes off her feet. That’s when she realized this was something she was meant to do.
That night paved the way for Stacy to help not only the homeless but low-income children. Not long after she founded Sole Loved, she began getting calls and emails from school counselors who had seen the organization’s Facebook posts.
Since then, Sole Loved has partnered with 62 local, Title 1 and low-income schools, working directly with school social workers to bring shoes to thousands of children in need. This year alone, Soled Loved has provided more than 3,000 low-income children with brand-new socks and shoes.
Stacy says she gets at least one to three phone calls or emails per week from new schools asking if Sole Loved can provide shoes for their students. The main reason these children wear worn out shoes that are either to large or two small is that their families often must decide to buy shoes or feed their families. Sole Loved takes this burden away from low-income families.
Having shoes for school that fit and are appropriate improves self-esteem. Children can run and play without foot pain from wearing shoes that are worn out or the wrong size. New shoes allow low-income children to fit in. It can reduce bullying.
Stacy says the children that receive new shoes are very appreciative and begin dancing, jumping and laughing when they slip them on.
Sole Loved accepts new and very gently used tennis shoes, cleats, Converse, Vans and any other athletic or sports shoes that are appropriate for PE class. New shoes are preferred. They do not accept flip-flops, house slippers, boots or heels.
Join us for a day of sun, fun and putting shoes on feet. We’ll see you on race day!