Soles for Christ Shoe Program

The Soles for Christ program enables any child in Pre-K (must be 4 years old) through 12th grades, in Andrew, Buchanan, Clinton, DeKalb and Doniphan Counties, to receive a NEW pair of tennis shoes to wear their first day of school.

Soles for Christ was created to boost the child’s self-esteem and enthusiasm for the coming
school year and provide parents with some monetary relief in covering the initial expenses associated with the new school year.


Program Dates

Soles for Christ is held in coordination with the beginning of the school year, with distribution scheduled for several days in mid-August, usually during the second week of the month.


program requirements

  • Children in preschool through 12th grade, living in Buchanan and Andrew counties in Missouri and Doniphan County in Kansas, are eligible for shoes. There are no income eligibility restrictions for the program.
  • Every child that comes to the distribution receives shoes. If the correct size of shoes is not available for a child, volunteers actually go shop to purchase any missing sizes and get them to the children.
  • In 2021, the distribution event was held at St Joseph Civic Arena. Over the four-day period, 781 children received a pair of shoes, at a total value of $19,525.
  • The agency hopes to continue its partnership with the Civic Arena as it significantly increases space and speeds the process.
  • In 2021, the program distribution event utilized 153 volunteers, performing 731 hours of service.


To Donate

The agency starts collecting shoes early in the summer by distributing letters and flyers to area churches, businesses and department stores. Donations can be dropped off at the agency any time of year; large quantities can be picked up by agency staff.  

If you would like to make a shoe or monetary donation, please contact the agency at 816.364.1131. 


Program History

Soles for Christ began as an outreach project by Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. The first collection of shoes took place in August 2003, with our agency becoming a partner to distribute the footwear. More than 200 pairs of shoes were given away that inaugural year and a total of 15,665 pairs of shoes have been given away since the program started. Each year, a few more churches, individuals, businesses and organizations join the endeavor by donating shoes.