LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - It's a program changing lives, from right here in Arkansas to halfway across the world. On this Hero Central Thursday, THV 11's Ashley Blackstone is shining light on Share Your Soles.
"They are searching for shelter, safety, and medical aid."
It's a documentary that will touch your heart.
"They have no other transportation, but to walk," explains Eli Thomazeau, a Haiti resident, in the film.
This is Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world where walking is a way of life.
"Shoes are their only means of transportation. Shoes get them to water, to food, for church, just to go visit somebody."
Which is why Mona Purdy is working to make a difference. Thirteen years ago she started Share Your Soles.
"These shoes they're wearing, there is no support," says Purdy. "I want them to have good shoes or another pair of good shoes to walk on these rocks."
So far, tens of thousands of shoes have been donated to impoverished counties. And the Chicago woman's mission has spread nationwide.
"I got a bunch of little ones here."
It's now in Little Rock at Arkansas Specialty Orthopedics.
"Uur staff has been gracious to donate monthly to this project and we have collected 600 pairs of shoes."
Shawn McNerlin is the organizer and says the need is greatest for children's shoes. Donations collected at their office will be shipped out by the end of the week.
It's a mission that Dr. Troy Ardoin believes is critical.
"The foot is still at risk to sores and cuts and foreign bodies to enter the bottom of the foot which could cause infections," he says.
Back in the poverty sticken country of Haiti, residents are celebrating, despite obstacles, over something many of us take for granted. And it's all documented in a journey that's changing lives.
"It's not all about the shoes," says the narrator. "When you choose to make a difference in a child's life it brings hope and a sense of belonging into their life as well as your own."
You can help by dropping off any new or used shoes at Arkansas Speciality Orthopedics (500 South University in Little Rock) by tomorrow, November 29.