Lake Lotawana teen collects 50,000 pairs of shoes for kids in need around the world

LAKE LOTAWANA, Mo. -- It started with a simple request.

Now, a Lake Lotawana teen is being recognized for making an impact on the lives of tens of thousands of strangers.

"When I was 8, I decided to get shoes instead of gifts for my birthday because I already had enough," Chloe Christensen said.

She received 85 pairs of shoes that year.

Chloe Christensen

Fast forward six years, and Chloe's simple request is now a full-time job.

The Lake Lotawana teen is collecting and donating gently used shoes for kids in need around the world.

"We have 50,000 now, and every 25,000 you get to go on a trip and hand out the shoes to the kids themselves," she said.

Chloe passes along every pair of donated shoes to Soles 4 Souls. The organization give shoes to kids whose families can't afford to buy their own shoes.

She got her family, friends and even strangers involved in the massive project.

"I feel like it's teaching me how to be less worried about myself and think about others more -- and about how our world is not all, 'How lucky I am,'" Chloe said.

Her goal is to collect enough shoes to be able to go to Africa and hand them out to children.

"That is going to be fun to see all of their expressions," she said.

Chloe thought it would take her about 10 years to collect that many shoes. Instead, it's happened in less than 7 years.

She also just found out that because of her work, she's been awarded the Spirit of Community Award from Prudential Insurance. It comes with a trip to Washington D.C., as well as a $1,000 college scholarship.

If you'd like to donate a pair of shoe's to Chloe's campaign, you can reach out to her on her Facebook or Instagram pages.

If you don't have shoes to donate, you can also donate money. Chloe said for every dollar donated, Soles 4 Souls can buy one pair of shoes for someone in need.

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