Richard Hudgins, a hair stylist in Louisville, Kentucky, is going barefoot for a full year to raise money for children in Kenya who do not have shoes. Hudgins has made it through a brutal winter consisting of several days of snow, ice, and below-freezing temperatures in Kentucky, completing all of his daily activities, like going to work or dropping his daughter off at school, completely barefoot.
Hudgins hopes to raise $25,000 in donations by the end of 2014. Once he reaches this goal, he says he will take the money to Narok, Kenya where the children need uniforms and shoes to go to school. Since his start in early December, Hudgins has raised almost $4,000. If Hudgins can raise the $25,000, the amount would be about to buy durable shoes from more than 800 kids. Many of the children who would be receiving the shoes are orphans who do not have $20 or $30 to spend on proper footwear.
While Hudgins’ feat is admirable, he is not the first person to go barefoot for charity. A nonprofit based in Charlotte, North Carolina called Samaritan’s Feet asks coaches to shed their footwear every year to raise awareness and funds for children around the world who cannot afford shoes.
Originally, Hudgins worried that he would not be able to follow through on his project because he was embarrassed by the attention his bare feet attracted. However, after Hudgins saw that the website he had set up had received small donations on the first day, he knew he had to continue. He now says that most people and businesses are supportive after he explains his goal.
In addition to monetary donations, donors have sent boxes of new shoes to Hudgins’ home. Hudgins say he will donate these shoes to children in Kentucky.
For more information about Hudgins’ story please visit http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/21/barefoot-charity-winter/5701963/.