As a podiatrist, Dr. David Andreone knows the importance of wearing good shoes to foot health.
“I had my first shoe drive several years ago when I was practicing in Plano and Frisco Texas,” Dr. Andr-eone said in correspondence with the paper. “Since moving to Tyler I wanted to continue that outreach to those in need and figured that since I am a podiatrist that shoes just made sense and Buckner/Shoes for Orphan Souls already had the means to do that.
“This is one of the ways I like to give back to the community I live in.”
Shoes for Orphan Souls provides new shoes and socks to orphans and other children in need in the United States and abroad, according to information on its website, shoesfororphansouls.org
The charity began as Shoes for Russian Souls in 1995 by KCBI radio in Dallas.
Buckner International as-sumed leadership of the program in 1999 and changed the name to reflect a global reach.
Since 1999, more than 2.3 million pairs of new shoes and socks have been distributed to children in 74 countries.
“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,” says information on the website. “Diseases like 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.
It also notes that in orphanages around the world new shoes are a constant need.
“Typically, children in orphanages share everything. When an orphan receives a new pair of shoes, it communicates love and helps them know they are special.”