Donating Dignity

By Riley Kinum March 6, 2021
Teen collects 30,000 pairs of shoes to Los Angeles’ homeless population.

It was a few months before her bat mitzvah when Lindsay Sobel became aware of the struggles of homeless people. She was specifically shocked at the fact that those living on the streets of Los Angeles lacked proper footwear. For her Tikkun Olam- an “act of repairing the world” which is integral part of the bat mitzvah ceremony- Sobel started Shoes for Soles. The central mission of her charity was to collect and distribute shoes to Southern Californians in need. She went above and beyond in order to give back. Lindsay urged her teammates, friends and neighbors to donate and organized various school shoe drives. During the pandemic, Sobel is using the Internet to encourage donations via the Next Door app.

To date, Shoes for Soles has re-distributed 30,000 pairs of gently worn shoes. She personally makes sure the shoes are in proper working condition because, as she states, “A fresh, new pair of shoes can really brighten someone’s day, brighten their attitude, and their outlook on life.” Homeless people deserve the same respect as those more financially fortunate. Shoes help people put their best foot forward. Providing someone with shoes improves their health, ability to find a job, and so much more.

Lindsay continues to help more people in need and continue her charitable efforts. She is receiving awards and recognition for her recent work but sees the need for more work to be done. Something that started as a small project has blossomed into a huge initiative. The heart and sole she is giving to this charitable effort illustrates the ability to give back, something that we all have within us.