TAMPA - After measuring 132 little feet, a 14-year-old Tampa philanthropist joined forces with Soles4Souls to present 66 pairs of shoes to children at Metropolitan Ministries Thursday afternoon.
Jacob Rice created the Shoe Giver of Tampa organization 4 years ago at the tender age of 10, after learning that many Tampa children had never owned a pair of shoes.
He partnered with Metropolitan Ministries and had been taking children’s foot measurements since August 18 for Back to School to make sure that all of the new children living there would have a new pair of shoes that fit correctly.
Founder of Soles4Souls, Wayne Elsey, reached out to Rice to learn more about the then 10-year-old’s cause and has been helping to provide shoes to Rice’s organization ever since.
"Mr. Elsey is an excellent mentor for me," said Rice. "In June, Mr. Elsey supplied Shoe Giver of Tampa with over 700 pairs of new shoes for all of the children I visited during a trip I took to the Dominican Republic."
Elsey’s organization provided the shoes being donated at Metropolitan Ministries, and he said he’s happy to help a young person like Rice fight for such an important issue. "The simple gift of shoes can offer hope for a brighter future," he said. "We are pleased to be able to help Shoe Giver of Tampa."
Over the past four years, Rice has given 600 pairs of shoes locally and 740 pairs internationally.
"Community service is about making sure that people in need, no matter who they are, receive what they require to live a better life," Rice said.
“Every child deserves a new pair of shoes.”
For more information, visit the Metropolitan Ministries events page , and scroll to the bottom.
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