Red Letters

Millions of kids in the world are walking around without shoes on.

Tim Lotz is just another kid in that crowd, walking to and from school with nothing to cover his feet from the elements. But Tim lives in Michigan where shoes are plentiful. He can afford them. He owns them. He just decided not to wear them any more.

For 100 days, Tim Lotz is going to walk around barefoot to raise money to buy shoes for kids at the Oditel CarePoint in Uganda.

Most of the kids at Oditel don’t have shoes. Sores and infections are common. Without basic medical care, there’s the chance that a simple cut on the foot could become a life threatening problem.

Since Tim is going to visit Oditel in January 2013, he decided to walk a mile in the “shoes” of those kids. That is, no shoes. I had the opportunity to interview Tim about his life and why he’s doing this. To find out more about Tim’s journey and to help him reach his goal of buying shoes for every kid at Oditel, just visit here.

Tell us about yourself. Who is Tim Lotz?
I’m a pretty quiet kid. Quiet enough that my teachers always say, “If only he would talk more,” at my parent teacher conferences. Hopefully this challenge will push me out of my comfort zone. Even though I am quiet I always have something on my mind.  I grew up in a wonderful Christian family, even though we are a little crazy. Our family’s motto is “Remember, to other people we are just a normal family.”  In first grade, my family sold everything they owned and moved to the middle of the Amazon rain forest for mission work.

What is “100 Days Without Shoes?”
There is actually a guy that my family knows in Gobles, Michigan that has almost completed a year without shoes. As my family and my friends were talking about it, they mentioned that this would be a great challenge for me since I love to go barefoot. Since I was already planning on going to Oditel with The River church in January 2013, I decided it would be a great way to raise money to buy shoes for the kids in Oditel. Since we don’t have a year we settled on 100 days. Our goal is to raise enough money to buy shoes and a Bible for every kid in Oditel (about 500 kids). We estimate this to cost about $4,000, but are still working on an exact amount.

What about school? Don’t you have to wear shoes in class?
School was our biggest concern because the rules say that footwear must be worn. We called my principals and got a pleasant surprise. He was extremely supportive. He happily said he would send a photo of me to all the teachers saying not to stop me in the halls, and that he wanted to put it in the school newsletter. I am really thankful for this.

What did your parents say? How did that conversation go with the principal?
At first, my dad was concerned that it would flatten my feet and make me worse at track, but my mom convinced him that it was okay. Since then, they have helped me out a ton. They even bought me some shirts that say “Ask Me Why I’m Barefoot” to wear. I am very blessed to have the family I have.

5. If you had 30-seconds to convince someone to give you $1 million for shoes, what would you say…
I would probably say “How many shoes do you have in your closet? Most of the kids in Oditel have never had their own pair. Please donate to 100 Days Without Shoes and help us buy shoes for each kid in Oditel.”


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