BENEFITING: KANSAS CITY ROTARY CLUB FOUNDATION
New shoes provide health.
Shoes are foundational to good health. In many developing countries we serve, children are forced to walk barefoot for miles to gather clean water, to visit a doctor or to go to school. Diseases such as hookworm, jiggers, tetanus and other parasites enter the body through the feet. These diseases can stunt a child’s growth and development, as well as cause life-long cognitive impairment. Walking barefoot in rocky or muddy terrain can also cause injury to a child’s feet, further opening the possibility for infection or disease.
New shoes provide education.
Many schools around the world require children to wear shoes to attend, but for many poverty-stricken families, shoes are a luxury they cannot afford. Studies also show that children who are healthy are more likely to be successful in school and have higher attendance, therefore increasing their chances of obtaining critical education to succeed in life.
Buckner Shoes for the Orphan Souls®, the largest humanitarian aid project of Buckner International, provides new shoes and socks to orphans and vulnerable children in the United States and throughout the world.
Shoes for Orphan Souls began as Shoes for Russian Souls in 1995 by KCBI radio in Dallas, Texas. Buckner International assumed leadership of the program in 1999 and changed the name to reflect our global reach.
From conducting shoe drives to humanitarian aid trips, Shoes for Orphan Souls offers hands-on opportunities to individuals, groups and organizations wanting to transform lives. Since 1999, Buckner has distributed more than 3 million pairs of new shoes and socks to children in 81 countries.
For more than 136 years, Buckner International has been transforming lives through hands-on ministry, serving the most vulnerable from the beginning to the ending of life. Buckner is one of the oldest and most unique faith-based social service organizations of its kind, serving hundreds of thousands of people each year in the United States and around the world.
R. C. Buckner didn’t come to Texas with plans to start an orphans’ home, but the Baptist preacher did God’s work wherever he landed.
He settled in Paris, Texas, in 1860, when the state was still recovering from the Mexican War and settlers were fighting Native Americans, not to mention disease and drought. The country was on the brink of Civil War, and there was a lot of need. One of the biggest needs was that of an orphans’ home.
Buckner had the ability to feel for others, especially children. This drove him to organize a Deacon’s convention in 1877 to discuss the creation of an orphanage. Buckner initiated his first fundraising campaign, dropping a dollar in his hat and passing it among those gathered under a large oak tree. He raised $27, which provided the initial funds for the opening of the Buckner Orphans’ Home, now called Buckner Children’s Home in Dallas, Texas. The home admitted its first three orphans in 1879.
Today, Buckner International operates programs throughout the world, providing services that include residential child care, orphan care, adoption and foster care services, prevention programs, senior adult services, missionary opportunities and a global humanitarian aid program, Shoes for Orphan Souls, which provides shoes for needy children around the world.