Normally a bat mitzvah is a time where a young lady has a huge party to celebrate the passage into adulthood.
Instead of celebrating herself, Lindsay Sobel wanted to celebrate others. Living in California Sobel has become well aware of the homeless population and how many lacked shoes.
“I noticed a lot of them were in really awful living conditions, no way any person should have to live. On top of that, I noticed a lot of them did not even have shoes on,” she said in an interview with A Might Girl. “At 12 years old, I was like, ‘Wow, people don’t have shoes?’ It kind of put things into perspective for me.”
Sobel decided to launch Shoes for Soles, a charity that collects and distributes shoes for Southern Californians in need. The charity only collects shoes that are still in good condition.
“Part of the requirement for having a bar or bat mitzvah is that in some way you give back to your community, give back to the world,” Sobel told KNX-1070 News Radio. “I decided I wanted to give back as big as I could. That one pair of shoes could change someone’s life.”
Since starting, Shoes for Soles has collected an astonishing 30,000-plus pairs of shoes.