Shoes That Save a Life: LIFE Today’s Christmas Shoe Project

By Nancy Flory Published on September 11, 2018

The little boy smelled like rotting flesh. Flies swarmed the wound on his left foot. By the time LIFE Today’s international photographer Janice Meyer finished talking with him about it, he was in tears.

Augusto is 8 years old. His father is dead. He lives in Angola with his mom. He helps her around the house, washing dishes and such. He loves to play soccer, but can’t because he’s in too much pain from the wound. “This child’s foot was actually gangrene. It was horrible,” said Meyer. “It just started with [insect bites].”

Stories like Augusto’s is why LIFE Today collects donations for shoes. They give out 150,000 shoes each year to children in need. Without shoes, the children run around barefoot. In destitute areas, having shoes can mean the difference between life and death. If they get a cut on their foot, infection can set in. Shoes help protect the children’s feet from debilitating or life-threatening wounds.

Augusto’s story doesn’t end there. He received medical treatment and a new pair of shoes, thanks to those who gave to LIFE’s Christmas Shoe Project.


LIFE Today is celebrating their 11th year of the Christmas Shoe Project. In that time, they’ve handed out over 2 million pairs of new shoes.

You can help continue this good work. To give to the Christmas Shoe Project, please click here.

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