When Jonathan Miller was 10 years old, he became extremely concerned about the plight of widows and orphans worldwide, so he went to his church bishop to ask how he could help them. The bishop’s words were simple: “You’ve got a mission.”
His mother, Michelle, helped him look for a way to accomplish his new calling. That’s when they found Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls. Not only did the program fit his new mission of helping vulnerable children, but the process of collecting shoes was simple enough for a 10-year-old boy to organize. Jonathan got to work.
In 2013, Jonathan hosted his first shoe drive in his Beaumont, Texas, community. He made pitches to his local school and church to get involved and they collected 175 pairs of shoes, but Jonathan wanted it to be bigger. He wanted the impact to be greater.
“Jonathan knows we have so much,” Michelle said. “It is small for us, but huge for them. We’re just so proud of his drive and heart to help those less fortunate,” Michelle said.
By 2016, Jonathan had recruited the local Boy Scouts, businesses, schools, churches and more to get involved in the shoe drive. Jonathan and his family designed t-shirts to sell and raise money, hosted a shoe party at the local putt-putt golf and contacted businesses to donate any leftover inventory. The effort led to collecting over 1,000 pairs of shoes.
The shoe drives in his community have gotten so large, Jonathan is now known as “the shoe boy,” and he serves as a reminder that young age doesn’t disqualify you from being used from God: you just need a willing and ready heart … and a mission.