Kenton Lee (shown above) started Because International with a few friends in 2006, a nonprofit devoted to “working with and helping those in extreme poverty.”
Lee and his team initially tried to give the idea to companies like Nike, Crocs, and Toms, but none of them expressed any interest. Eventually they found a “shoe development company” called Proof of Concept who agreed to help them with the design.
The shoe is made out of a high quality soft leather on top and "extremely durable rubber soles similar material to a tire," Lee said. They expand through a simple system of buckles, snaps, and pegs. The shoes last a minimum of five years and expand five sizes in that time. The small size will fit preschoolers through fifth graders, while the large will fit fifth through ninth graders.
The shoes cost $10 a pair, and each pair goes into a “duffle bag” that can fit 50 pairs of shoes. Once one organization’s duffle bag is full, Because International ships it to the organization that flies with them to one of seven countries.
Donors can either buy shoes to distribute themselves or buy a pair of shoes and choose one of five American nonprofit organizations to distribute them to orphanages and churches around the world. So far about 2,500 children across seven countries are wearing the shoes.
Is this not one of the most amazing ideas? I thought this was just incredible.