17-Year-Old Girl Collects 30,000 Pairs of Shoes & Donates them to the Homeless

When Lindsay Sobel was twelve, she went to a basketball game at the LA Staples Center arena and was shocked by how much homelessness there was in the area.

She remembers seeing how many homeless people had terrible life conditions, something she believed no one deserves.

And, it also struck her that most of them were barefoot. They had no shoes. She was wondering why and this helped her put things into perspective.

Helping People in Need Have Basic Life Needs Fulfilled

Today, at the age of 17, this wonderful teen is on a journey to help supply the homeless with shoes. She managed to collect and donate more than 30,000 pairs throughout Southern California.

The idea for this project started soon after the game she attended. While cleaning out her closet, she realized she had a lot of shoes she didn’t wear.

She came up with the idea to donate them to those in need and give back to her community. Soon after, she also started collecting both new and worn shoes as part of her Bat Mitzvah project in 2016.

She also launched a charity she named Shoes for Souls and started reaching out to her classmates and friends, asking them if they have any shoes to donate.

Moreover, this young lady also organized a week-long school drive at her summer day camp where the campers competed to see who can donate more shoes.

Through her projects, she collected more than thousands of shoes that she donated to the local shelters and was rewarded for her efforts and named the 2017 Chatsworth Youth of the Year.

Collecting Shoes during a Pandemic Was Challenging, Said Lindsay

Currently a high-school junior, Lindsay is still dedicated to her project to collect and donate shoes to the homeless.

However, when the pandemic hit, the collection of donations was challenging although she was aware people would need them more than ever.

This is when she decided to use Next Door, a social app for neighborhoods in order to arrange pickups for the shoes.

The Los Angeles City Council reached out to her if she could help them out with some shoes and within only a couple of weeks, she gave them 4000 pairs. She says it was a real honor they thought of her to help and she loves seeing her work making a change.

Lindsay Makes Sure the Shoes are in Top Condition

Although she wants to get as many shoes to donate as possible, she’s very cautious about the condition they’re in. Her motto is that ‘if you would wear it, she’ll accept it’.

She wants to give people a chance for a good experience, not shoes that are excessively beaten down.

Lindsay explains that the Shoes for Souls has given her a new respect for the value of a good pair of shoes. They can really brighten someone’s day, their attitude, and how they feel.




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