Josh Brown just finished his freshman year at Lake Highlands High School, but he’s thinking ahead to graduation. By the time he dons his red cap and gown in 2025, he’s determined to collect 2025 new and gently used pairs of shoes and donate them to people in need in our community.
He’s a quarter of the way there.
Brown’s spirit of volunteerism began in second grade when he joined the Little Stewpot Stewards. Organized by April Gorman to support folks at The Stewpot downtown, the group raised money to purchase items for summer survival kits, then distributed them to people experiencing homelessness. The kids hosted lemonade stands and did odd jobs to raise funds for their project.
Little Stewpot Stewards toured the facility, where they saw clothing available for people in need. Brown heard officials mention they were running low on shoes, and a seed was planted. He began collecting shoes that summer and delivering them to the shelter with the help of his parents, Christopher and Alison.
When Brown arrived at LHHS, he heard about ways some other students were contributing to nonprofit organizations, and he remembered the need for shoes at Stewpot. When he went downtown, he noticed many homeless people were wearing shoes that were way too big, way too small or broken. Some had none at all.
During his freshman year, Brown collected 530 shoes – more than any one nonprofit could deal with at one time. Besides The Stewpot, he’s donated to Genesis Women’s Shelter, Feed Lake Highlands and City Square.
“It makes me so happy to see the look on the volunteers’ faces when I drive up with the boxes of shoes to deliver,” he says. “It also makes me happy to see all those shoes come to our doorstep from all over the place. My friends from school, people in the neighborhood and even my parents’ college friends have donated.”
If you’d like to help, you may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to get drop off information. You may follow Brown’s progress on his Instagram page here.