Largo boy collecting 25,000 shoes for poor kids


St. Petersburg, FL -- Today at the St. Pete Shoe Carnival location, one Largo boy continued his march towards his goal of collecting 25,000 pairs of shoes.

Mikey Solava, only 9-years-old, wants to collect new and used shoes to give to kids who don't have any.

He and his family picked up another 250 pairs outside the store today, bringing their total to around 4,000.

He began collecting shoes a few months ago and is thrilled to help out.


Largo, Florida -- A regular trip to Disney World has sparked a worldwide goal for a young Largo boy. Mikey Solava was complaining about something on his family's trip to the self proclaimed "happiest place on earth." His parents reminded him how lucky he was to have all of the blessings he had.

That got the 9-year-old thinking.

His mother showed him some pictures of poor children in Africa. Mikey felt so badly that he'd been complaining about his small problems, that he decided to find a way to help people who were truly poor all over the world. He began collecting shoes.

"I wanted to do a shoe drive," he said after seeing the photos of poor children. "I felt like, 'If I have nice shoes, why can't they have nice shoes?'"

He and his family began collecting. They got over 100 pairs in one weekend. Mikey and his mom, Tina, set the goal of 25,000 pairs. So far, they've collected around 3,700. They are working with an organization called Soles4Souls.

"I am so thankful that (people) can help," he said. "There are a lot of kids that don't have shoes, and adults."

It's estimated that nearly 400 million children worldwide live in pronounced poverty, according to the World Bank. Mikey and his family are trying to make a dent in that number by helping provide what he himself once took for granted.

"I want to make a difference," said Mikey.

You can drop off used and new shoes at First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks, Allen's Sports Center, Oak Manor Senior Living Community and other local businesses in the Largo/Seminole areas.


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