Giving Shoes to Inspirational Kids

Old shoes, new shoes

Our last shoe distribution for Soles4Souls left me with mixed emotions. We visited the Hillcrest Children’s Home in Hot Springs Arkansas, a group home for abused and neglected children. While I was glad these children were in a well-run facility, I’m also sad that they need to be in such a place instead of with a loving family. The children’s home is sponsored by the Assembly of God Churches and receives children from all across the United States. There’s no cost for the children to be there, so the home runs on donations. Mr. Bill took us on a tour of the facility, proudly pointing out the gym, computer lab, swimming pool and his amazing woodshop. Kids work with him building birdhouses, wooden boxes and even beds for the cottages. We peeked inside the middle school girl’s cottage, complete with Hannah Montana posters and bright pink bedspreads. The highlight was meeting the kids as we gave them shoes. Our first “customer” was a four year old who literally bounced in the room because he heard he was getting new shoes. He loves racecars and we had a pair of shoes with race car designs and lights that flickered when he walked. Talk about one happy boy! I would have hidden him in the RV and taken him with us if I could have gotten away with it. We also met a beautiful high school senior that had lived at Hillcrest since 2001. It was basically the only family she knew. She told me she planned on going to community college for two years and then transferring to the University of Arkansas. What an inspiration! While we didn’t have racecar shoes for her, we did have some great athletic shoes that fit her perfectly.
We can’t show the faces of the children we met. Just know they had big smiles at getting new shoes.


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