FRISCO—Lisa Schaefer isn’t much of a shopper. It just doesn’t excite her—unless it helps vulnerable children through Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls.
“I’m a woman who really doesn’t even buy shoes,” she said. “I’m not a shopaholic. I probably only own five pairs of shoes. I’d rather shop for … (children who benefit from Shoes for Orphan Souls) any day then shop for myself.”
For the past decade, Schaefer has led Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls shoe drives, each time working with friends to transform the lives of children through the gift of footwear. Her largest shoe drive netted about 250 pairs of shoes, and over the years, the drives have affected hundreds of children.
Shoes for Orphan Souls also has become a passion for her family. They’ve helped sort and pack shoes at the Buckner Center for Humanitarian Aid in Mesquite. They collect the shoes together. They’ve seen what can happen when people work together for the cause of Christ.
God cares about every child, Schaefer said. God loves them and protects them, and one of the ways he does that is through Shoes for Orphan Souls, she added.
“Buckner uses shoes to bring the gospel to kids,” she said. “Buckner uses shoes to protect kids’ feet so they can go to school. It sends a message that they are special.”
Last summer, she participated in a Shoes for Orphan Souls mission trip to the Dominican Republic, where the teams conducted Vacation Bible Schools for children and distributed shoes collected by Buckner.
Seeing first-hand the joy on the children’s faces when they received the shoes inspired her.
“It was a great experience for me to see the other side of what happens and be part of that team,” she said. “It made me all that more passionate about shoes.”
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Shortly after she returned from the trip, the school where she teaches, Grace Covenant Academy in Frisco, was seeking an outreach project students could do together. She immediately suggested Shoes for Orphan Souls.
The school recently held a 5K/fun run at a local park, where participants donated shoes and also raised money to purchase footwear through the ministry. Last month, students sorted shoes at the Buckner Humanitarian Aid Center and learned more about how the shoes help children globally.
“I think it’s an amazing ministry,” she said. “It’s a way for us to do something beyond collecting shoes. It’s a way to bless people who need blessing.”
Schaefer’s desire to affect the lives of children around the world in a positive way is an inspiration, said Shoes for Orphan Souls Director Rachel Wallis.
“I love how Lisa has taken her gifts in teaching and organizing and used them to impact kids all over the world,” Wallis said. “So often, we wonder if and how God can use us, and Lisa has just thrown herself into every opportunity he has placed in front of her.”