Kentucky Man Sheds Shoes for Charity


Richard Hudgens of Louisville plans to go a full year without shoes to raise money for shoeless children in Africa.
Image: Shutterstock

In one of the harshest Southern winters in years, a Louisville man has decided to shed his shoes to raise money for shoeless children. Richard Hudgins is going barefoot for a full year. Shoeless since early December, he has nearly made it through a brutal Kentucky winter filled with snow, ice and single-digit temperatures.

Hudgins is aiming to raise $25,000 by the end of the year to take to Narok, Kenya, where children need uniforms and shoes to go to school. So far he’s raised almost $4,000. If Hudgins reaches his goal, it would supply shoes for more than 800 children, said Elijah Ombati, a missionary from Kenya who has struck up a friendship with the donor.

Ombati, who runs a Christian group called Nasha Ministries International, splits his time between Africa and Louisville. “The need is high, and growing day by day,” Ombati said. “Those who are from middle class families, they have (shoes), but those who are poor, maybe a friend game them shoes, or maybe they are still looking or maybe the shoes are torn. Many of them are try hard and even some share shoes.”

Hudgins said he got the bare feet idea from Toms Shoes Company after it challenged customers to go a day without shoes.

“I thought one day without shoes was a pretty cool idea, but I wanted to go big or go home, so I decided to do a year,” he said, according to the Associated Press.

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