Presidential Perspective: Back to School

By Albert L. Reyes
President and CEO, Buckner International


It’s back-to-school time again. You can almost hear the groans of all the kids as they see the summer evaporate into another school year.

What do you remember from your childhood about this time of year? I remember being wistful as summer disappeared and I was staring at nine months of school. But I also remember being excited, too; excited about seeing friends after missing them for the summer; excited about a chance to start over.

But maybe more than anything, I was excited about getting new clothes to start school. That included a new pair of school shoes that was supposed to last until the end of May.

Do you remember that kind of excitement? (To be honest, I still get excited about a new pair of shoes!)

We are often asked what the purpose of collecting shoes is. There are a lot of reasons why we collect new shoes through our Shoes for Orphan Souls® ministry. You can find those reasons illustrated here.

While all of the reasons are important and critical, for me, the love and hope a new pair of shoes represents may be the most important. Take a look at little Abigail’s smile in this story as she received a brand-new pair of pink shoes in Guatemala.

Do you remember that feeling of excitement when you were a child? Now, imagine the feeling if that is your first-ever pair of new shoes.

The Shoes for Orphan Souls® program has grown through the past 12 years because of faithful partners who provide financial resources and work alongside Buckner to put smiles on the faces of the children receiving a new pair of shoes.

We are keenly aware that Shoes for Orphan Souls® is not just a Buckner ministry – it’s your ministry, too. We’re a team and the winners are the boys and girls we serve.

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