A self professed, longhaired pastor from Idaho, Kenton Lee recently launched a groundbreaking, for-profit company to support his life changing non-profit ministry. Ten years ago while serving at an orphanage in Kenya, he had the idea for an adjustable shoe after seeing kids that were outgrowing their shoes and had no access to more. Some kids actually had to cut open the front of their shoes so that their toes could stick out.
Lee’s heart broke when he saw so many orphans struggling to cram their feet in to shoes that didn’t fit. So after returning to the US, he enlisted the help of a friend and after six long years they eventually created The Shoe That Grows.These special sandals grow three sizes and can be worn for years. A non-profit called Because International was created to distribute this revolutionary footwear to needy children around the world. Many thousands of people began to donate to Because International. To date 175,000 pairs of The Shoe That Grows have been distributed to children in more than 100 countries.
Then something big happened. People supporting the ministry began to ask if they could buy The Shoe That Grows for their children. Lee explains, “Though it was never our intention…we started to see the value of our shoes for every family and how a commercial version could actually help us achieve our mission even more. They launched GrowFive, a for-profit business to finance their ongoing ministry efforts.
The company has gotten off to an amazing start with the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign for Expandels,the commercial version of The Shoe That Grows. “Shoes that can grow and last are better for families. It does more with less, lasts longer and is better for our planet. Each purchase gets more shoes to kids in poverty,” says Lee who is a graduate of Regent University with a Masters in Organizational Leaderships.
Once again the entrepreneurial principles of Biblical capitalism build sustainable models to change the world.
Source: IMPACT…a publication of Regent University Fall 2018.