Jordan Keefe was inspired to start his own nonprofit to help others after completing the Learning Through Service course spring semester at The University of Toledo.In the class, which was designed by Dr. Sammy Spann, assistant provost with the Center for International Studies Programs, students focus on countries and regions in need in an effort to instill activism and initiative.
Keefe and 12 other students concentrated on Les Cayes, Haiti, and the Hut Outreach Program, which is a Christian Humanitarian Aid organization that works in the region to help empower the people of Haiti by providing food, water, housing, education and medical care.
During spring break, the students traveled to the city to volunteer with the Hut Outreach Program. While volunteering at a schoolhouse and hospital, Keefe and his peers saw endless need for the Haitians, but did not know how to exactly give back.
“I saw kids walking around either barefoot or with two-liter pop bottles on their feet to keep from getting parasitic diseases,” Keefe said. “It changed us a lot. And after we left, we wanted to do something more.”
This led to the launching of Save The Feet, an organization that collects unwanted shoes and donates them to impoverished countries. So far, the group has collected more than 1,200 pairs of shoes.
“Our goal was to get at least 1,000. We’ve passed this and I couldn’t be happier,” he said.
Keefe is collecting shoes and raising funds to take the footwear to Les Cayes, Haiti.
“We are collecting all types of shoes; it doesn’t matter what kind or age,” he said. “If you have shoes that you don’t use anymore, bring them to me.”
Shoes can be new or used, in any style and any size. To donate, visit savethefeet.org.