Admittedly, it’s tough to explain. We jumped on a plane, left the glitz of the City of Angels, and flew 3,000+ miles to the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
We expected to be humbled. We didn’t expect to be so encouraged.
Founded in 2004, Soles4Souls is a global not-for-profit institution dedicated to fighting the devastating impact and perpetuation of poverty through the distribution of shoes and clothing. The organization’s travel arm, Travel4Souls, takes the fight to the front lines in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Tanzania, with more countries in its sights.
Our mission was simple: wash feet, distribute shoes, love on the kids.
Haiti was the first independent nation of Latin America and the Caribbean, the first black-led republic in the world, and the second republic in the Americas when it gained independence in 1804. Yet most of us know it only for its political disturbances or natural disasters, like the coup d’état in 2004, or devastating earthquake in 2010.
The country is broken, to be sure. And Soles4Souls is on the ground leading its hands-on restoration.
We piled into vans and navigated our way up the Haitian mountainside to a 13-acre orphanage, home to 450 students and occupied by up to 700 during any given day of the academic year — run entirely on rain water. After a few hours, we piled back into the vans and headed down the mountain and to an orphanage under the Haitian American Caucus, which runs a school, orphanage, and micro enterprises under one roof. Inspirational and restorative, to say the least.
Over the course of a few days, we traveled to other locations in and around Port-au-Prince, washing feet, fitting for new shoes, and loving on the children.
A truly new, authentic perspective.
Are you a lover of shoes, like us? Consider traveling with Soles4Souls. Are you a retailer of shoes, like us? Consider traveling with Soles4Souls. It will humble you, and ground you. Sadden and encourage you. It will impact you, and change you. As it forces you to step outside of you.
That said, how do we conclude in words such a humbling, encouraging, surprising, and powerful trip?