When Rev. Ken Vander Wall, Christian Reformed campus pastor at William Paterson University in Paterson, N.J., visited Washington, D.C. last spring, he was moved by a display of 30,000 pairs of shoes near the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall.
The shoes called attention to 300,000 deaths in the Darfur region of the Sudan since 2003. Vander Wall went home motivated to do something similar in New Jersey.
With the help of more than 30 churches and 20 schools, including Eastern Christian High School in North Haledon, N.J., 15,000 pairs of shoes were collected and displayed at the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus in November.
After the display, the shoes were donated to Soles4Souls, a Nashville-based charity that distributes shoes to people in need around the world.