Inspiring Tampa teen starts free shoes program 'Soles Shaping Souls' for first-grade students

Posted at 3:37 AM, Apr 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-18 06:36:06-04

TAMPA, Fla. -- One by one the first-graders at Booker T. Washington Elementary walked into the classroom and smiled at the three older kids waiting for them.

They then took off a shoe. The reason? They needed their foot measured.

The Soles Shaping Souls program is giving 67 kids at this Tampa school free shoes. This day of giving was the idea of 14-year-old Camden Grant, an 8th-grader at Randall Middle School in Lithia.

After fundraising, including online donations on GoFundMe, Camden will deliver the shoes.

“They can go into summer without worrying about if there’s a hole in their shoe or their little toes are sticking out,” says Camden.

The genesis for Soles Shaping Souls started a few months ago. For her MLK-inspired Day of Service, Camden read to kids at Washington Elementary.

“After, on the bus ride home, I texted my mom and told her I really want to volunteer here,” Camden says.

Knowing some families struggle financially, Camden thought a shoe donation was the right gift for her new friends.

“I’ve learned that my voice is a lot bigger than I thought it was,” Camden says.

For more on Soles Shaping Souls, visit the charity's Instagram page or email