When Nicholas Lowinger was 5 years old, he was excited to show off his new light-up sneakers. But he soon realized that the kids in the homeless shelter he was visiting with his mom were living in circumstances very different from his own. Most were wearing tattered old shoes; some didn't even have a pair of shoes to call their own. By the time Nicholas was 12, he started a project to give brand new shoes to kids in the shelters of Rhode Island. Since then, he has given away shoes to over 44,000 children in shelters in 43 states throughout the United States.


 Your Name: Email:
  • Admin

    For those of you asking about funding, the Supporters section of Gotta Have Sole website (http://www.gottahavesole.org/ghs/supporters/corporate-sponsors/) shows the corporate and other sponsors and volunteers that help provide new shoes and funds for the project.

  • Shannon Farley

    I am very inspired by Nicholas meeting such a simple need and creating such a powerful change. But like Lucy wrote below, how is Gotta Have Sole funding their project? How did Nicholas start getting new shoes to give to kids? Where do the new shoes come from? I searched all over the Gotta Have Sole website and found no information either in the history or anywhere else, and the media newspaper article links don't work. I would like to know, to see how service projects like this could be replicated where I live.

  • Diane

    Nicholas Lowinger inspired me by how he put his own needs second and seeing the need for others who had less than him. Congratulations on being a kind and giving human being. Most adults never see this opportunity in their entire lives. You are lucky to be blessed with a giving heart at such a young age. Thank you for starting this wonderful organization. Keep up the great work.

  • Mary

    Amazing and what a difference Nicholas is making. Kuddos to son and mom. And yes I would like to know more about funding and how to get involved. Great job!

  • Lucy

    But how is he FUNDING this, please! This is like your piece on the lady making coat/sleeping bags for the homeless - no financial information, and therefore unable to replicate!

  • Mary Ellen

    Nicholas is so young, but he is making a difference in so many children's lives. His compassion and joy are awesome!

  • Yvonne

    This kind of goodness is capable of changing more than the excitement of receiving new shoes, for we all know that will wear off. It's the legacy of what can stay with the person who has benefitted from the love that was given....self esteem being and personal value to begin with. What a true loving person Nicholas is.

  • Ramesh Shah

    How can I get involved in Cleveland N. Ohio in this program so I can help lot of kids and enjoy their smiles?

  • Rupert

    It brought tears to my ears :) such a wonderful man, love in action :)

  • Rose-Marie

    Nicholas you are one in a million, so philanthropic at such a young age. Thank you too to mum, you are both an inspiration. Hugs Rose-Marie Ritchie

  • Pradeep

    It's very true that one can derive immense happiness from giving than receiving. I wish there were more people like Nicholas in this world to make this a better place for everyone. Wish him every success in this journey.

  • Fiona

    Like mother, like son. Well done, Nicholas and well done mum for taking Nicholas to a homeless shelter. It is so uplifting to read how Nicholas has changed lives. You are generous, caring, imaginative, creative and inspiring. May God bless you and shower you with blessings for the rest of your life.

  • Tree

    So impressed to see a young person UNDERSTAND! & be so compassionate to use his time for others!

  • Lynne

    This is GRRRRREEEEEAAAAAAATTTTTT!!!!!! He beautifully captures a need and gives of himself to fill it - seeing the faces of all those receiving the shoes was such a treat - exquisite work. What would our world look like if we all approached each day as he does? Thank you, Nicholas!!!!!

  • Mike

    This young man shows no interest in the gatherings of wealth and power, only concern for his fellow mankind. There is no higher calling. Many blessings upon him.

  • Anita

    He is amazing!! What a fantastic, big-hearted, thoughtful young man, his parents must be very proud of him, and he should be very proud of himself too! What a great achievement, this really made my heart sing!! Thank you for being such a wonderful person Nicholas, you make such a big difference to these children and to the world too! Bless you <3

  • Laura

    What an amazing young man ! If we all did what we could to help our fellow human beings ---what a different world we would live in !

  • Page 1

  • Learn more about Nicholas Lowinger's Gotta Have Sole Foundation.
  • Meet some of the other CNN Heroes - everyday people making a difference in the lives of others.
  • Have a friend, a colleague, a neighbor or parents who is an everyday hero? Nominate a 2016 CNN Hero.

Recent Pledges On ...

Related Videos