Texoma Boys Collecting Soles For Souls

There are about 300 million people around the world living life without footwear.  Some Texoma boys are hoping to change that.  James Crosson and his friend Brendon are junior black belts at Warrior's Way Martial Arts.  As part of their belt advancement, they're required to do some community service.  James' mom, Tonya says she heard a great idea for a project on the radio.

"I approached the boys to see if they were interested in doing that as one of their community service projects, and they said they were," she said.

"It's a shoe drive for people all over the world who don't have any shoes," James said.

The drive is part of Soles 4 Souls, which donates a pair of shoes to someone in need every seven seconds.  The organization reminds people that your extra pair of shoes could be someone else's first.

When asked what's good about shoes, James said, "You don't get stickers in your feet."

James, Brendon, and their moms have been working hard to get flyers out to local shoe stores and re-sale stores.  They also have collection boxes at Warrior's Way, Grayline Research, and right here at the Newschannel 6 studios.  James says he's been doing his best to get the word out so they can reach their goal of 500 pairs shoes this month.

"I've told my classmates, I've told people at martial arts," he said.

So far the drive has yielded about 200 pairs of new or gently used shoes.  Even shoes that aren't in the best shape can be recycled.

"There's a lot of kids out there that don't have shoes, and a lot of people that have gone through natural disasters that have lost everything, so it makes me feel good knowin' that we're helping people," Tonya said.

The boys are hoping their drive will be just a kick-start to something greater.

Soles 4 Souls is hoping to collect 11 million pairs of shoes in 2011.  To learn more about the shoe drives, click here.