Here’s an example of our sizing stations. Since most of the kids had only owned slippers before, they didn’t know their shoe sizes. We drew out ten sizing stations, and measured all of them. We then wrote their size on their hands, and made sure they got a pair of KEENs they could wear for a while.
A field of coconut trees. In the Philippines they’re called the tree of life. Millions of trees were snapped in half like match sticks during 360 km/hr winds.
Our drivers. These guys drove three large trucks of KEENs all over the Visayas and Samar, across thin roads, mud and debris. They asked if we could extend our trip, because this was the most fun they’d had since the storm – we couldn’t have done it without them.
Below is Paublito, our local guide. He is truly an inspiration. He’s standing here, with his brand new KEENs, in front of the orphanage he lived in for the first 12 years of his life. Fourteen years ago, he was adopted with three brothers and sisters into a gracious and loving family in Tacloban. He lost four relatives to Haiyan, and since the storm, he’s been helping lead and organize relief efforts up and down the coast. He offered his home up for us on our third night. Below that, we got a photo with the major of Mercedez in Eastern Samar. We distributed to all of the students of his town — all 1995 of them.
We handed out 2,000 pairs of shoes on our way to Mercedes. Last night, we stayed at a local’s house. They had mosquito nets for us and cooked us breakfast, lunch and dinner. These communities are very thankful.
We distributed almost 2,000 pairs of shoes to elementary through high-school students in Basey, known as “ground zero,” where the destruction was significant. The kids were stoked, and they sang us a song when we were finished!