On Wednesday July 12th, I attended the first annual Ruben’s Summer Social at Orrange Restaurant and Bar, an event which helped Ruben’s Shoes meet their fundraising goal of $16,000. The money raised goes straight to the operations of Centro Educativo Toribio in the Dominican Republic which provides education to over 160 students divided into 12 classrooms.
I’ve always known about this local organization whose founder, Kelly Strongitharm received the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce community spirit award couple of years ago and always give my gently used shoes. I wasn’t aware though of the incredible story behind Ruben’s Shoes and the importance of having shoes in developing countries. In places like the Dominican Republic or Peru, children without shoes can’t attend school and thus can’t access education.
We might not spend a lot of time thinking about shoes, but they have a real impact on kids in underdeveloped communities. Kelly’s realization that children could not live up to their potential, prompted her to step up and she started a small project called Ruben’s Shoes which is named after a little boy, Ruben who she sponsored through World Vision for 7 years before meeting with him and his family in 2012.
The event last week was refreshing and powerful. Their success is well-deserved and I’d encourage everyone to keep donating their shoes, and perhaps even take it further and sponsor a child for as little as $39. For more information about child sponsorship, click HERE.