Athletic shoes, a critical item for deployed soldiers, are not supplied by the military.
Given the extreme temperatures, harsh environment and rugged terrain of where our combat troops are deployed, daily exercise wreaks havoc on their athletic shoes and frequently creates the need for a new pair. The benefits of daily exercise are numerous in managing stress levels and in staying strong, but exercising in worn out shoes is just as bad as exercising in the wrong shoe. It increases the stress and impact on joints which can cause injuries. Studies have also shown that time spent out of boots, in proper fitting athletic shoes is critical to the health of our soldiers’ feet. Recognizing this need, Sneakers for Soldiers offers us all the opportunity to show our support for our troops in a practical way by replacing their worn out athletic shoes. With the support of individuals and organizations from around the country, we are able to purchase high quality sneakers at a discounted price and send them to US service members deployed in Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Niger, Djibouti, Jordon, Yemen, and other Imminent Danger Areas and Designated Combat Zones.
The uniqueness of the program is that we have devised a way for each soldier to choose a sturdy athletic shoe that best fits their feet…because all feet are different.
Impressing the Media
Our organization is growing and it’s gaining attention locally and nationally!
On July 22, 2019, we were featured on ABC World News Tonight with David Muir on his America Strong segment. The next night, on July 23, 2019, he featured us again after the overwhelming response.
A year later, on July 21, 2020, and again on July 23, David Muir brought us back to highlight the difference your donations have made and the appreciation from our deployed service members and their families.
Thank you to everyone who tuned in, helped share our story, and made donations. Most importantly, we thank you for letting our troops know you are standing behind them as they defend America.
The Soldiers are very grateful for their sneakers and your generosity.
A beneficial gift during time away from loved ones
It’s not just the opportunity to receive a heart felt and beneficial gift. Just receiving something from a group of strangers that support a cause can make a world of difference through time away from loved ones.
Wishing Us to Get Bigger
“I am very happy that it is getting bigger and you guys are being heard, this is a great program and hope it gets even bigger.”
The shoes were a blessing indeed
I wanted to personally email you my utmost gratitude on behalf of the shoes I was blessed with. I am an avid runner since I have been on deployment and my last shoes had been spent. I’ve been running for nearly two months with a hole in the top of my shoe where my large toe has protruded. Money has been tighter than I like if I’m honest and the shoes were a blessing indeed. I hope to pay it forward myself. Thank you and your donors for the gift this holiday season.
Keeping spirits high
What you are doing is greatly appreciated more than you could ever know. The support you and many others provide is truly what keeps many of these Soldiers going and their spirits high. I can’t thank you enough!
It’s not surprising our Soldiers would do this…
To everyone involved, THANK YOU!! You honestly would not believe the timing of your package. The Soldiers were excited and were expecting the shoes; however, some of our team had donated needed items to the Afghanistan mission and the new shoes came and quickly replaced the old shoes we had donated. My whole team truly appreciates everything that you all are doing. Again thank you.
The War is Still a Stark Reality
“Thank you again, for this amazing effort you and your husband have undertaken. It’s the small things, like pt shoes, coffee and kind words that make all the difference to my fellow Soldiers and I in these times. Despite going on for over 17 years, this war is still a stark reality for us. Thanks again! God bless! “
From an EOD Specialist – Supplied Them with Gortex Shoes, Needed for Winter Months in Camps
“I just wanted to send a quick Thank You! for the shoes that you sent us recently. They look amazing and I can’t wait to wear them and run with them. The shoes arrived just before Veterans Day and were a great reminder how much support we continue to have back home. This is a great program that means a lot to all of the Soldiers that have received items from it. Once again thank you and I’ll wear them proudly!”
Thank You From an Army Officer in Special Forces
“Thanks again for all of the great things that you have done to support my Soldiers out here, you have been nothing short of wonderful”
Exercise is my coping mechanism
Dear Shoe People, I just wanted to say thanks for keeping us in mind. There are a million other things you could spend your time on, so it means a lot. This is my fourth deployment but the first one since I’ve had a wife and kids at home. Exercise is my coping mechanism. Thank you for helping me get through the tough times. Thanks again and God bless!
A Special Forces Team Leader Asked If We Were For Real
“I am just curious to see if this is real? We are out at a small outpost in Afghanistan with my special forces team and are interested in your program” (After receiving their sneakers) “We received our shoes and everybody loves them! They all fit perfectly. We can’t thank you enough for them. It means a lot. The guys were really happy. They all looked at each other and laughed because they didn’t believe they received the sneakers. We’re all surprised that a program like this exists. It really means so much. “
Never been happier!
We have received the sneakers. I’ve never seen them all happier. Thank you all so much.
Perfect Fit – One Style Doesn’t Fit All!
“ We received our shoes and everybody loves them. They all fit perfectly. We can’t thank you enough for them. It means a lot.”
It Means the World to the Soldiers Here
“My team and I would like to express our sincere thanks for what you do. and fit while deployed is of great importance, both physically and mentally. With the new restrictions being brought about by the global pandemic, one of the only outlets our Soldiers have is physical fitness; particularly running. Personally, I love to run and my current pair of shoes has zero tread left and the uppers already have holes after 3 months. My brand new Salomon Sense Ride 2 shoes showed up two days ago along with four pairs for other Soldiers. We are all ecstatic and extremely appreciate to once again bounce down the road on fresh new soles. Please keep doing what you do! It means the world to the Soldiers here.”
A change in spirits
A Soldier Offered to Spread the Word on the Home Front
“Thank you so much for helping me out. I am truly grateful that there are organizations such as yours out there, helping soldiers out. If you give me the information, I will spread the word if people are looking to donate. It’s nice to support those that support us. Have a blessed day!”
It’s actually here…
“Everyone was surprised and so happy when I opened the box this morning. It’s actually here. This is really a great way to boost the morale of the Soldiers. Nothing I can imagine can be better than this. Our best appreciation to you and your organization to support our Army and our great Nation. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
A Soldier feels the American Spirit During the Holidays
“On these holidays, I am thankful for the kindness and generosity that you all have bestowed on me. It is a true reminder that the American spirit is alive. Have a blessed holiday”
Detailed order forms lead to a perfect fit
“You guys are awesome. The shoes showed up today and there were zero issues, everything fit perfectly. The guys send out a big thank you, you really made their week. Me and all the leadership at Camp can’t thank you enough for the looks on their faces and for all that you do. Thanks again.”
“You have made an incredible impact”
The boxes arrived! The new shoes made everyone’s day. Thank you so much for taking care of us. The Soldiers couldn’t wait to try on their new shoes. You have made an incredible impact on these men and women.
Super Happy… Makes Us Happy too!
“Just received the sneakers today! You guys are awesome. Thank you soo much! We are all super happy, I can’t say thank you enough.”
Putting his new sneakers to good use, this soldier raised money for children at St. Jude
“Thank you so much for the shoes and the nice card. Myself and the rest of the team were so happy to receive them, it really made our day, and for me it came at a perfect time. I got super motivated with my new shoes and challenged myself to run 200 miles in the month of June for St. Jude Hospital for Children. I chose 200 miles as a personal goal because I wanted it to be a real challenge. Running long distances is not easy for me as a bigger guy but it’s absolutely nothing compared to the challenges others face. Also, the bravery and courage displayed by the little ones at St. Jude is very inspiring to me and my teammates.“
Supplied a Sturdier Sneaker for EOD Specialists
“I talked to the guys and those shoes would work perfect. We are just tickled pink to get anything really.”
From a Soldier deployed to war zones since 2004
I would like to thank you for the outstanding support from your organization. Have been deploying to war zones since 2004, and I can tell you this is the coolest, most useful thing I have received in a care package down range. What a great idea. The guys and I thank you very much.
“It felt like Christmas in May!”
So Excited to Receive New Sneakers
“I finally got somewhere with some cell coverage. Sorry for the late reply. Again, thank you so much for your program. You have no clue how excited the guys got out here. They couldn’t believe it and were extremely grateful.”
A Huge Thank You
“I was blown away and am really thankful for you guys support really means a lot, thanks for taking care of the other guys they are very pleased as well. Hope you have a wonderful day, thanks again.”
Motivated to exercise in 118° heat!
Our team received our shipment today and I wanted to say thank you so much. I was overwhelmed with the personalized donation tags. That was a great touch. It’s a cool 118° today and we’re excited to get in a workout!
A true need identified
The two boxes arrived! In fact our command team brought them with them when they came to do battle field rotations … I personally took mine out for a test run this morning and I could not be happier. We are all genuinely so very appreciative for what you guys are doing. You identified a true need and your program found a meaningful and effective way to help support those of us away from home. Thank you very very much! … The shoes really are great quality and will play a part in everyone’s training for quite awhile.
From an Airman in an Undisclosed Location
“We are avid runners and have no access to new shoes here locally. We are broken up into several different flights and the attached are the runners club that has been chewing through the shoes they initially brought. I heard of the program by stumbling across some articles online. It is truly honorable and touching what you and your Church are doing for our service members.”
From a Special Forces Captain
“Just wanted you to know I received my sneakers thank you and your organization for doing this for the Soldiers that are deployed. It is much appreciated and you are doing an AMAZING thing with this great program. If I could ever help you in any way, please feel free to contact me.”
Looking Out For Other Soldiers
“I was referred to you by another soldier when I asked about his new sneakers , he told me you where able to help him when he was in need of some new shoes. I have a couple of soldiers who would greatly appreciate any help.”
Forever a positive memory
We have received your generous gifts of sneakers out here on deployment so far from home. I just wanted you to know personally how grateful we are. You have definitely boosted moral for us all. You will forever be a positive part of our memories during this time.
An “Act of Kindness”
Such great news and it couldn’t come more timely as the team has been operating on the clock lately. This WILL definitely boost morale, we appreciate this so much. I know I can speak on behalf of the team that this act of kindness is what we fuel ourselves to keep doing and believing in what we do.
Making a Difference in Another Way
One soldier wrote: “the terrain out here has destroyed my existing ones and I donated my other pair to an Afghan kid who didn’t have any shoes.”
Receiving New Sneakers Makes a Difference
“We’ve already seen some of the other guys receiving their sneakers and I’ll tell you, it really does make a difference – feeling the love and support of our fellow Americans…. 🙂 “
Each Tag Has a Donor’s Name On It
“Thank you so much for the shoes they fit perfect!!!!! Thanks to Aux 5, as well. I support the FOP. We fight the war here, while they do there.”
Appreciation Sent on Independence Day 2020
“Happy Independence Day to you, yours and your staff! The sneakers have been received and distributed accordingly. I have a stack of letters to forward to you in appreciation and wanted to personally thank you again for your support and commitment to supporting nameless, faceless soldiers serving abroad. You truly make a difference in people’s lives and your efforts have been nothing short of extraordinary. You are a true patriot! God speed.”
“This is so awesome! I can’t believe a program like this exists and supports us while we’re out here! “
Imagine…A Soldier Wanting to Donate Back to Us!
A soldier writes: “I would like to know how and who I could make donations to. This type of donation is amazing. Since being here I’ve gone through two pairs of shoes. So I know how appreciative it is for the other guys here. Please let me know who to make donations to.”
Fulfilling a critical need
First! Thank you for your efforts to fill a need for deployed military members that gives a solution for a much needed cause. Your organization is spot on in that military members use up their athletic shoes at a significantly high rate when deployed. The list is long for the many reasons members consume athletic shoes at a very high rate.
Word is Spreading
“I came across this today by happen chance when me and a fellow member were talking about how my shoes were well used. He stated, to contact you.”
Sneakers On Their Feet, Smiles On Their Faces
“Thank you so much! You brought smiles to our entire team’s faces! “
A Soldier Already Planning to Give Back
“Very inspirational and makes me wonder what I could do when I retire to help soldiers and people out “
The biggest gift from our donors is the impact on morale
“The Soldiers were elated to receive their sneakers. The love and support is overwhelming, especially knowing the fact that incredible donors, around the world from us, bought the sneakers. Our morale here just increased tenfold.”
Sneakers Were Really Needed
“Thank you so much for sending me a new pair of sneakers. I was very happy to just receive any new shoes to be honest, cause mine were getting ready to speak to me. Thank you so much!”
Feeling the Love and Support of Fellow Americans
“Our sneakers have arrived!!! My fellow Soldiers and I want to send yall our most heartfelt thanks and appreciation for your efforts! With quality trainers being well over $100 nowadays and how we burn through several pair of them a year throughout our time in service, this really is a wonderful way to feel the love and support of our fellow Americans. Take care, thanks again and God bless! ❤??”
Rocky Terrain Takes its Toll
“The rocky terrain in Afghanistan quickly takes its toll on the athletic shoes here in Afghanistan and I would be extremely grateful if I were able to receive a pair. “