I traveled with my 10 year old daughter (celebrated 11 during the travel) on the Guatemala trip. This experience was so incredibly transformative for both of us. There is nothing that can compare to serving along side your child in this way. S4S had personal relationships and partnerships in country that provided access to places we'd never seen without having been a part of this trip. We traveled from remote mountain tops to more urban city centers and experienced the needs of all of these communities. The travel group allowed for close connections and created friendships that I will have for a lifetime. The greatest testament to this organization is the fact that everyone else in my group had been on multiple trips before. I cannot say enough positive things. This trip and our leader Tiffany had major impact. I have never met such big hearted people. We will be traveling with them again!
My Soles4Souls trip to Guatemala was an experience I’ll never be able to replicate. It gave me new passions and magnified the values I had. Working with Kristen and CeCe was so special and the family bond that was created over the course of the week is something I’ll always treasure. This nonprofit stands for everything you could possibly want and is filled with the most selfless and generous people. I would volunteer with Soles4Souls again in a heartbeat, and I intend to in the very near future!
S4S Team 11/14/2018
Thank you so much for joining us and sharing your incredible passion with us. Can't wait for the next time!
Best experience of my life! My group went to Honduras for the week and went to 4 different distributions. Soles 4 souls was incredible and it was a life changing trip. Soles 4 souls organized food, hotels, all of our distributions, and our trip to see a waterfall! I got to meet so many beautiful people and provide so many children with a brand new pair of shoes. We also got to see first hand how people’s lives are completely turned around with the soles4 souls enterprise program.
S4S Team 11/14/2018
Thank you, Ryleigh, for sharing your time and talent with us on the ground. So grateful for your service!
Previously, I have been able to volunteer on different service and mission trips, but I had never traveled for one out of the country. This past summer, I was fortunate enough to participate in the Soles4Souls service trip to Honduras with my organization. Our organization has partnered with S4S the last 4 years so I had heard nothing but great things on how they arrange their trips.
The whole process was easy to register and was well prepared for all of our pre-travel necessities including what to pack, what to have done with immunization shots, etc. Going into the trip, I thought it would just be another service outing with current coworkers from my organization along with the representatives with Soles4Souls. Little did I know that we would become a very close unit of friends from different backgrounds devoting our time together and made the whole experience that much better. It was amazing to see firsthand how everything was handled and made the transition to step in and volunteer my time extremely easy and has made me look forward to going on future service trips with Soles4Souls because of their passion and desire to help others out when needed.
S4S Team 11/14/2018
We are so incredibly grateful for your commitment to our mission. Thank you for being such a great partner in every way. Thank you!
At our company, BioPed Footcare, we've been blessed to have traveled on 3 group trips with Soles4Souls, with a 4th trip planned for next February. Travelling abroad on a shoe distribution is a humbling experience where you experience the full range of emotions, usually ending in a deep appreciation for the power of the human spirit! It's amazing to see the Micro Enterprise program at work and to meet some of the entrepreneurs who have been empowered by the program. In our case, it is thanks to the donations from our customers - one used pair of shoes at a time - that allow us to travel as well as build some amazing relationships here at home! Every step of the way, our Partners at Soles4Souls were there to support, assist and inspire us. The travel coordinators and in country partners are incredibly talented ad made everyone feel safe and involved. We could not have achieved such an amazing outcome on our own.
My employer provided a sabbatical opportunity for a group of employees to volunteer for Soles4Souls in 2018. We served some hard hit communities in Puerto Rico still suffering the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. This phenomenal experience is one that adjusted my world view in a variety of ways. First; the nature of the service experience creates an intimate connection to spirit of the people being served. I feel that I now see the human experience during crisis recovery in a different way. Second; having this opportunity to see my employer and colleagues through a lens of selflessness has not only created strong interpersonal bonds but also shifted how I perceive and respond to colleagues actions day to day. Third; the exceptional leadership that the Soles4Souls team on the ground and the community collaborators they partner with allowed me to see just how crucial and impactful efforts like this are to those in need. There are simply not enough words for me to convery how incredible of an experience this was.
I had the privilege of being part of a team of Voya Financial® employees who traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico April 21-25, 2018 on a mission to distribute new shoes to more than 600 children in communities severely devastated by Hurricane Maria.
Puerto Rico suffered catastrophic damage and a major humanitarian crisis, including the destruction of its previously damaged electrical grid, when Hurricane Maria hit in September, 2017. For weeks and months in Maria's wake, most of the island's population suffered from flooding, power outages and lack of resources. Many still do.
Upon arrival, the meticulous planning, thorough preparation and comprehensive coordination of resources that preceded our arrival became very apparent. Those things – the extensive groundwork – are precisely what allowed us to be fully present, and to make the most of our time in Puerto Rico.
Two full days allowed us to visit four schools. Some were in the hardest hit mountainous areas of the island, where they referred to themselves as “The Forgotten Ones”, still do not have power or running water. The devastation here was far worse than what I had pictured in my mind. I expected this to be a somber group, but was very wrong. Instead they were gracious and positive; asking what they could do for us. It was truly humbling.
I was filled with nervous excitement each time we arrived at each school, and each time I was overwhelmed by the genuine appreciation that greeted us. Ranging in age from kindergarten to sixth grade and dressed in their uniforms, some were wide-eyed and quiet, others were confident and talkative. Our job was to measure each child’s feet, gently wash them and try new shoes on to ensure a proper fit. We also provided Blessing Bags filled with school supplies, personal hygiene items and some fun things for the kids. Every pair of feet that came to us was attached to a child with a beautiful heart.
While this journey began as one of service to others, I am certain the love and gratitude we felt in return is a gift our team will cherish for a lifetime. These families, our fellow Americans, have been through so much these past eight months and show so much love, courage, and resilience - we can all truly learn something from them and I absolutely did. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity.
We had a great time starting our annual service trip tradition at the University of Texas. Athletes from 3 different sports enjoyed learning about Jamaica, interacting with the people, and making an internal and important impact through service with Soles4Souls! They make everything simple, yet impactful. Great time with a great organization!
We had the most rewarding experience with our distribution trip to Haiti last year led by Kristin and Megan. They were so organized and ensured everyone was safe, happy and had a very meaningful time while helping those in need.
Would highly recommend this amazing organization to anyone looking to give back.
I travelled with Soles4Souls to Puerto Rico as part of my company sponsored volunteer sabbatical. The experience was like none other - I was able to understand how less fortunate people live, learn from and appreciate their gratitude, love and dedication to family/community. S4S was extremely well organized both pre departure, arrival and post departure. The leaders we travelled with were knowledgeable, professional and passionate of the cause. They also partnered with extraordinary locals, who enhanced my experience as well. I highly recommend signing up for a life changing experience.
I was recently blessed with the opportunity to travel with Soles4Souls to Honduras this past June and I can honestly say it was the best 5 days of my life. The trip was extremely well planned by Kristin and others and I would not change a thing. Soles4Souls is such an amazing organization that I will support for the rest of my life. I met so many people that changed my life and I would go on another trip in a heart beat.
My Soles4Souls experience in Guatemala with Kristen absolutely changed my life! I could not be more grateful for this trip.
S4S Team 11/14/2018
So glad this was the case! Grateful for your incredible service. Thank you.
Volunteering wit Soles4Soul was one other most life changing experiences I ever had. Everything from how the trip was organized and planned to our amazing guide, Kristen Schwartz, and of course the amazing kids we were able to serve on our trip. I am blown away by the passion and genuine spirits of this organization and everyone associated with it. The minute we stepped off the plane, Soles4Souls felt like family and them along with the communities we served embraced us with open arms.
S4S Team 11/14/2018
So greatly appreciate your service to those most in need. Thank you for sharing of yourself with us!
Traveling with Soles4Souls is one of the greatest opportunities I have had in my life. Their team is filled with selfless people, who you don't have to question anything with. I never once felt unsafe or unprepared when traveling with Soles4Souls. There was complete organization between our leader and the in-country partner the entire time. It takes a pretty special person to be able to open a level of vulnerability and honesty between everyone when reflecting about your days, and all of their leaders have this ability. It was really amazing to see the love the communities showed towards us, since they knew Soles4Souls had been there before. I am so unbelievably grateful for meeting the people I did, and to have these memories and relationships forever!
S4S Team 11/14/2018
Gracie, grateful in every single way. Thank you for joining us in changing lives. Thank you!
I am so blessed to have traveled with Soles4Souls to Honduras in June 2018. The trip was so incredibly well planned and the experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I met so many amazing children, such as the one in the photo from a malnutrition center. Upon returning from Honduras, I was able to intern for S4S and I will continue to support this organization, as it is truly something special
S4S Team 11/14/2018
Megan, thank you for everything! So glad for knowing and working with you.
My name is Brendan Moreau and this past July I was lucky enough to travel through Soles4Souls with a group of fellow Rutgers University Student-Athletes. We traveled to the Montego Bay, Jamaica area to distribute shoes to Jamaican children in need. This trip far exceeded my expectations, and has changed the way I view certain aspects of my life. I will cherish this experience for the rest of my life.
I was lucky enough to travel with S4S to Puerto Rico in April 2018 with my company, Voya Financial. When I found out I was chosen to go, I was beyond excited. Little did I know this trip with beyond exceed my expectations. I came home with a completely different mind-set - one I was sad, and upset for what some people have to live through and I felt guilty going back to my home where I have little things like toilet paper, food, clean water, etc. But this also made me happy to know that I am in a fortunate enough position to continue giving what I can and that hasn't stopped since Puerto Rico.
One last thing - the appreciation, joy and love these children and adults have will truly last a lifetime. I cannot thank S4S & Voya enough for this experience. I am already working on saving up enough to be able to go on another trip!!
My experience with Soles4Souls in Jamaica was nothing short of amazing as it was the most impactful five days of my entire life. I had the pleasure of going to the city of Montego Bay with thirteen other great people and two locals who were ready to make a difference. Not only did we make a difference in the lives of the kids and their families, but we were fortunate enough to get some pretty awesome things out of the trip as well. I can specifically name a moment where my group and I went to a local church for a shoe distribution. Now keep in mind that these kids did not know very much of what was going on and definitely did not know any of us whatsoever. But the amount of love and affection that they showered us with the second we walked through those doors was so humbling and instantly reciprocated. This one little girl named Jackie grabbed my leg and would never let go, I had the pleasure of introducing her as well as myself to the people in attendance and that filled me with so much joy then and for the duration of the distribution as well. The level of appreciation that most of the individuals displayed was unmatched to any other community engagement opportunity that I have been involved in. I can genuinely not say enough about the Soles4Souls mission and the truly inspiring things that they have and are going to accomplish. This is my story and I am so proud to tell it to the world.
There really aren't any words to describe or give enough credit to the Soles4Souls trips that I have been a part of these last three years. As cliché as it may sound, they're incredibly life changing. I look forward to these every summer and I am a loud of proud advocate of everything that S4S stands for. The people that we work with directly at Soles4Souls are remarkable and have the purest of souls. I will forever be a part of this heart warming cause!
My name is Cole Murphy, I'm a student athlete at Rutgers University. Growing up I had always been fortunate with having both parents in the home and a younger sister to keep me company. My mother had told me over and over growing up, "that if you have lived a blessed life do not take it for granted and constantly try to bless others as much as possible" That might not be the quote of the century, but it certainly something that I live by. When I came across the opportunity to travel with Soles4Souls to Puerto Rico, who had been severely damaged by hurricane Maria, I couldn't pass it up. Getting down to Puerto Rico and seeing what devastation was still around was mind boggling. You noticed that the "touristy" areas had already been rebuilt, but there were still areas on the island that had no electricity and it had been almost 8 months. Seeing how tough and resilient the people were was what made the trip so memorable. Kids that had lost so much still had smiles on their face and were just happy to surrounded by their classmates and our presence. Footlocker made an unbelievable donation that allowed these kids to have the nicest and newest shoes on the market. They were extremely grateful and could not wait to run around and play in the shoes that we had fitted for them.
All in all, regardless of how well I was able to depict my trip, it was unbelievable. The fellow student athletes that went, the guides Kiko and Manuel, but the kids are what is most memorable. They gave me a new perspective on life, because so much can go so wrong in this world and yet they still have smiles and attack the day with great attitudes.
I have had the tremendous honor of traveling to serve with Soles4Souls the past two years. They are so organized and so passionate about the work that they do that it makes it incredibly easy to dive in and fully give yourself to the children and communities that we get to visit. There are never any worries about the travel or in-country logistics - you show up, you give shoes and you give yourself to creating a bond that will last a lifetime and will hopefully lead to growth and a better future for these underserved communities. S4S creates this environment of compassion that has left me taking away so much more than I could ever imagine. The work I am able to do on these trips makes me want to always strive to do more. I can't thank Soles4Souls enough for the relationships I have created and the opportunities to go outside of my comfort zones. First class organization and I cannot wait to serve more with them in the future.
Will McCaskill, Nashville Predators