Teen Collects 30,000 Pairs of Shoes to Donate ‘Dignity’ to LA Homeless
Teen girl Lindsay Sobel has collected an impressive 30,000 pairs of shoes for the homeless in Los Angeles.
Social & Lifestyle
For children raised in the Jewish faith, a bar or bat mitzvah is the celebration of the symbolic passage into adulthood. While at age 13, we’re not truly grown up, we can begin to see our place in the larger world.
What Lindsay Sobel saw in the months leading up to her own bat mitzvah was that a life of privilege wasn’t a blessing that everyone shared—and she was determined to do something about it.
As she became increasingly aware of the day-to-day hurdles homeless people living on the streets of Los Angeles faced, one thing Sobel saw time and again was how many lacked proper footwear.
“I noticed a lot of them were in really awful living conditions, no way any person should have to live. On top of that, I noticed a lot of them did not even have shoes on,” she said in an interview with A Mighty Girl. “At 12 years old, I was like, ‘Wow, people don’t have shoes?’ It kind of put things into perspective for me.”
For her Tikkun Olam—an “act of repairing the world” central to the bat mitzvah ceremony—Sobel came up with the idea to launch Shoes for Soles, a charitable outreach program that collects and distributes shoes for Southern Californians in need.
“Part of the requirement for having a bar or bat mitzvah is that in some way you give back to your community, give back to the world,” Sobel told KNX-1070 News Radio. “I decided I wanted to give back as big as I could.”