Shoes that can make a difference

By Jessica Dempsey

October 3, 2017 3:25 PM

Spiro’s Restaurant is fundraising to send 1,000 pairs of shoes to less fortunate countries through LIFE Today. Jessica Dempsey/Meridian Booster

Spiro’s Restaurant is inviting community members to drop off donations to help provide 1,000 pairs of shoes to children in third-world countries.

The idea all started when Spiro Kokonas was watching television and saw something for LIFE Today.

The organization goes to less fortunate countries to help feed children, provide drinking water, and health care.

“Also, they are supplying shoes for children who are walking around barefoot,” said Kokonas.

This touched the heart of Kokonas, who then wanted to help make a difference while involving his one-year-old great-granddaughter.

“So, when she grows up she will see what she had done when she was one-year-old,” he added. “We want to collect money to send 1,000 pairs of shoes to that organization and in return, they will distribute it wherever it is needed.”

According to LIFE Today’s website $1,000 will provide more than 275 pairs of shoes. So, Kokonas will need to fundraise between $3-4,000.

To help overseas to the less fortunate is important to Kokonas because of the conditions many children are living in.

Children who live in poverty in underdeveloped nations and don’t have shoes could receive a small cut on the bottom of their foot, which could then get infected or diseased.

“I see the pictures, the children are walking barefoot in the garbage dumps, and I know I’ve walked barefoot when I was young for the same reason they are. I didn’t have shoes, and I do have a heart for looking at those children and how they are walking. It hurts me to see it,” he said.

After he saw the images, Kokonas said he just couldn’t get it off his mind.

Donations can be made in front of the restaurant where there is a piggybank as you walk in, with a picture of Kokonas and his great-granddaughter, which reads “My Papou and I ask for your help to send 1,000 pairs of shoes to less fortunate children for Christmas.”

“We hope people will respond to it,” he added, adding how asking for the help of the community was vital.

“I can’t do it all on my own,” he said. “If many people take part, with $5 it will go a long way.”

LIFE Today’s Christmas Shoe Project distributes low-cost, comfortable, durable, all-terrain shoes that come in all different sizes. It is the 10th year that they have had the project.

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