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Donate Shoes and Clothes to Those in Need | Ideas for Action

Angel Eduardo

Andrey Liano preparing to donate shoes to people in his neighborhood

"My name is Andrey. I've learned how to show love to others, so I'm going to give all these shoes which are not fitting me to other children.” 

It was Easter weekend and Andrey Leano, a young idealist from Tanzania, had collected a bag full of shoes to donate to those in need. "I went to town," his mother, Devotha, says, "and when I came back he was holding a plastic bag on his back.”

Andrey, ten years old, already has a reputation in his family for giving—maybe even giving too much. “Every time we have a visitor, my son will take something of his and give it to them,” Devotha says. “Sometimes I leave something in the house, and when I come back he will tell me, ‘I gave it to our neighbor.’" 

Devotha and sons
Left: Devotha, lighting a candle for Idealist day 9/9 with sons Ben and Andrey. Right: Devotha and Eldest son Andrey.

That's why when Devotha saw the bag, she wanted to inspect it. "I opened it to see what is inside, and I found some shoes that still fit him—and he had also put in some of my own shoes! I asked him, ‘Why have you put my shoes?’ And he said ‘You are not using them! Why don’t you give to other people?’”

Devotha was tired from work, but energized by her son's generosity. "So, what do you want to do?" she asked. "I need you go out with me on the street," Andrey answered. "I know I will find other children with bare feet. I want to give them love."

As they donated shoes, Devotha noted that her son never lingered long enough to receive thanks for his kindness. "He did not want people to say ‘Thank you.’ He just wanted to give and go,” Devotha remembers. “He said, ‘You just help people. You just help.’”

Angel Eduardo

Angel Eduardo has been published in Newsweek, Areo Magazine, The Ocean State Review, The Caribbean Writer, and Mr. Beller's Neighborhood. More of his work can be found at angeleduardo.com.