Sole Purpose is an umbrella for charities and ideas that I am most passionate about. It is the fundraising sector of A Wandering Sole and plays a huge role in motivating me to run. Through Sole Purpose, I raise money for Education, Microlending, & Short-Term Needs, and distribute it in the countries that I visit.
The idea came to me in 2008, while spending 6 weeks volunteering for an orphanage in Kenya. I took a 5-day leave from the orphanage to visit a few of Kenya’s National Parks. Upon my return, I discovered that one of the children sponsored by the orphanage had not been to school for 3 days. Why you ask? Because his shoes were stolen, and in Kenya, No shoes= No entry into school. The resolution was a matter of my walking 30 minutes to the next village, tracking down the shoemaker and commissioning a $5 pair of dress shoes to be made. That’s all it took to get him back into school. In his case, the situation was out of his control. His 8’ x 8’ mud hut was broken into, and his shoes were stolen. I consider this money to be some of the best $5 I have ever spent, as I can’t imagine a child being denied education over a $5 pair of shoes. There is a bounty of worthwhile causes that only require $5. Yet even when something requires a bit more money, say $100 for a microloan, then all it takes is 20 people contributing $5. It’s simply the idea that by pooling resources, change is inevitable.
I am firmly grounded in the belief that small donations can drive a grassroots effort to make a significant impact, which is why Sole Purpose is founded on the premise of giving just $5. I have heard too many times (and I’m a member of the guilty party) how someone didn’t donate to a cause because they couldn’t give much money- not because they didn’t believe that the cause wasn’t worth supporting. A large donation is not a precursor to playing a meaningful role in improving someone’s life.
You can make a contribution at www.giveforward.org/solepurpose and follow the fundraiser on the Sole Supporters page. Be sure to check out my Running Log to see the crazy places I’m sure to discover on foot!