An adult can buy a new pair of shoes and, with care, make them last for several years, at least.

Children can't do that, and not necessarily because they are any rougher with their footwear, but just because they are "ever-growing," in the words of Dawn Lewis.

Lewis is the founder, president and CEO of Shoes For Your Soul, a Merchantville-based nonprofit that launched at the beginning of 2019.

In that time, Lewis said she and her staff have fitted approximately 3,000 kids with free shoes, made possible by the donations of both individuals and corporate partners.

New Jersey 101.5 FM logo
Get our free mobile app

"We properly size every child, to make sure they're in the right shoe," Lewis said. "And in the right size shoe, they're able to then pick from any shoe that we have available in their size."

Making kids' shoes available at no charge was an idea Lewis picked up from the 2011 funeral of a friend who mourners said would give away shoes to children in need.

Right now Shoes For Your Soul is a mostly mobile operation, but Lewis wants to have a dedicated storefront eventually.

"We would love to have a shoe store right in the city of Camden, so that way the children around the area that cannot travel are able to walk to the shoe store, and get free shoes and socks," Lewis said.

The group fits Camden County-area children from infancy through 12th grade, in the hopes that giving them proper shoes early in life will encourage care for their feet into adulthood.

Ideally, the organization has a goal of fitting young children four times a year, as they and their feet grow.

Lewis said putting children on such solid, literal footing helps them to focus in school, and crucially, uplifts families from economic and financial burdens.

Shoes For Your Soul is continuing to seek donations from all corners. For more information, go to

Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email

Deadly condo tower collapse in Florida

A wing of a 12-story beachfront condo building collapsed with a roar in a town outside Miami early Thursday, June 24, trapping residents in rubble and twisted metal. (AP Photos)

Check Out the Best-Selling Album From the Year You Graduated High School

Do you remember the top album from the year you graduated high school? Stacker analyzed Billboard data to determine just that, looking at the best-selling album from every year going all the way back to 1956. Sales data is included only from 1992 onward when Nielsen's SoundScan began gathering computerized figures.

Going in chronological order from 1956 to 2020, we present the best-selling album from the year you graduated high school.

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM