9-11 Day of Service: Nick Lowinger Steps Up To Give Homeless Children New Shoes | Cranston, Rhode Island | USA Today
When he was 5 years old, Nick Lowinger of Cranston, R.I., started going to homeless shelters with his mother, Lori, who works at shelters as an art therapist.
On his first visit, he noticed that many kids didn’t have decent clothing or shoes. So when he got home, he quickly went through his own closet, grabbed gently used clothes and shoes that no longer fit him, toys and games, and he and his mother took the items back to the shelter.
He gave one child a pair of winter boots, but the boots were too big, and Nick felt bad. He also noticed that some kids shared their shoes with other family members.
So in 2010, at age 12, Nick decided that he was going to collect brand new shoes for homeless children as a community service project in preparation for his bar mitzvah, the Jewish coming-of-age ceremony.
Not long afterward, he and his parents, Daniel and Lori, created the non-profit organization Gotta Have Sole Foundation (www.gottahavesole.org). The foundation has given shoes to 800 homeless children in shelters in Rhode Island and Washington, D.C. The footwear is donated by shoe manufacturers, retailers, churches, temples and individuals.