Everyday Heroes

Pennsylvania Non-profit Ships Sneakers to Soldiers in Need

When this military mom heard her son and his fellow service men and women needed new shoes, she knew she had to help.

A simple phone call from her son in Afghanistan has set Deborah Hausladen on a new path to provide U.S. soldiers with a most practical need. And you can help!

"He needed a pair of sneakers (because) his were starting to wear out," Deborah Hausladen told ABC News.

"We said we'd gladly send him a pair of sneakers over, and we asked about the other men in his platoon and he said, 'Same situation.' That they needed sneakers.

Within days, the non-profit Sneakers for Soldiers was formed. Hausladen started the non-profit in April 2018 with the help of a local shoe store, marketing firm and church (that's her with her husband, above, accepting an award from the Philadelphia Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars) .

Since then, over 200 pairs of shoes have been shipped overseas to soldiers who need them most. Every pair of shoes is picked individually for each soldier taking into consideration their location, daily duties and size and shape of their feet. Each pair of shoes includes a handwritten tag and note with the soldier's name and the name of the donor.

Each sneaker donation includes a personalized letter and tag.

In places like Afghanistan, the harsh climate and rough terrain the soldiers endure on a daily basis wreak havoc on footwear, causing unnecessary discomfort for soldiers and can cause serious injury. The soldiers also relieve a great amount of stress by working out, which can be painful with worn out shoes. Sneakers for Soldiers offers organizations and individuals a real, practical way to help out.

The soldiers have expressed their gratitude for Hausladen's efforts and have shared their support for the organization.

"It reminds me that we're not forgotten," one soldier said.

Another soldier responded to his donation via email, "Just received this in the mail. It's a great day today! Thank you for all you do for us!"

You can learn more about Sneakers for Soldiers by following their Facebook page.

You can donate to Sneakers For Soldiers by visiting their website and clicking the Donate button.

If you prefer to donate by check, you can address it to "Sneakers for Soldiers" and send to the following address:

PO Box 454

Chester Springs, PA 19425

(Images c/o Sneakers For Soldiers Facebook page.)

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