Special Sneaker Project Takes Off Running

Get ready. Get set. Go. God is so amazing. Twenty-three years ago, long before I fell in love with Jesus, I took a very drunken vacation to Jamaica with a bunch of college friends and strangers. I was pretty miserable on the trip, but I left Jamaica with an experience I will  never forget. While wandering in a rural area, I came across a bunch of kids so poor they did not have shoes they needed to be able to attend school. Adorned in raggedy clothing, they left their one goat behind and took me to a waterfall to show me its beauty.

Before I left them, I borrowed a stubbly pencil and marked how far each of their feet reached on my sneakers. I went back to America and mailed them sneakers. The last time I heard from them, their mother wrote me to say their family was being devastated by AIDS. I have not given much thought to that family and the sneakers I sent them, nor have I shared the story much at all. But just this week, the Lord reminded me the seed He planted back then in my heart has given forth to a harvest I could not possibly have imagined.

“Hey, what are you doing with all those sneakers in that barrel?” I asked Rob, one of the owners of Palmetto Running Company in Bluffton, SC.

“We’re giving them to a company that recycles them and uses them to cover roads,” he explained.

“Is there any chance I could take one pair for myself?” I asked him. “I direct a ministry and God provides for me in creative ways since I don’t get a normal income.”

“Sure,” he replied. “Help yourself.”

I did not take a pair right then. I didn’t even look through the huge barrel. I went home and thought about it. Then it came to me.

I called the store and talked to Tim, the other owner. “Tim,” I said. “My pastor ministers in inner city Savannah and Haiti. Is there any chance we could have those sneakers and give them to people that could use them? They may not be good for runners anymore, but I’m sure there are lots of people that would be blessed to have a pair of shoes. Will you think about it and let me know?”

I explained how Christian Revival Center in Savannah has a Clothes Closet for the homeless and others in need, and how Pastor Freddie will head to Haiti soon to help thousands of children enjoy Vacation Bible School.

“Lara, I don’t need time to think about it,” Tim said. “The answer is yes.”

Never in a million years did I think when I marked the length of children’s feet in Jamaica over two decades ago to send them shoes so they could go to school that the Lord would use me now to help provide shoes to those who can use them.

This life of mine truly is a faith walk – sneakers and all.

Palmetto Running Club is located at 22 Plantation Park Drive #103, Bluffton, SC 29910. You can reach them at 843-815-1718. They are open weekdays 10 am-6pm and Saturday 8am-4pm. Visit them online at Palmetto Running Company. Please consider donating your old sneakers for this very special project!

Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.


  1. God cares about people’s bodies, hearts and souls, and delights in meeting our very practical needs, including shoes. This is a wonderful testimony to God putting a need on your heart and using you to bring tangible evidence of God’s love and provision to people you will likely never meet this side of heaven, but who will be blessed to have those shoes and to hear about the God Who created them and loves them.

    Last year, I heard the founder of TOMS shoes speak; he also felt led to provide shoes for needy children, and his company has now provided many tens of thousands of shoes to kids all over the world. They recently did a “shoe drop,” as they call it, in Haiti. In case it would be of interest, here is the link: https://www.toms.com/blog/taxonomy/term/1266

  2. I’m happy! Seriously useful blog post right here my buddie. I just desired to comment & say keep up the excellent work. I’ve bookmarked your site right now and I’ll come back to read more soon my friend! Additionally nice designs on the page layout, it’s genuinely simple for the eye.

  3. As I am looking at your writing, casinosite I regret being unable to do outdoor activities due to Corona 19, and I miss my old daily life. If you also miss the daily life of those days, would you please visit my site once? My site is a site where I post about photos and daily life when I was free.

Leave A Reply