July 22, 2020

Sneakers for Soldiers sends hundreds of shoes every month to troops serving overseas
Every month, a nonprofit called Sneakers for Soldiers boxes up hundreds of pairs of brand new shoes and ships them out to U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.The sneakers are not just randomly selected — each pair is chosen for a specific soldier, ensuring that they fit properly and are right for the conditions where they are stationed. Attached to each box of shoes is a message of encouragement and support from a donor.Sneakers for Soldiers was founded in April 2018 by Deborah Hausladen, whose son was deployed to Afghanistan. Since then, she has received donations from across the United States, allowing the organization to send 300 pairs of shoes out every month.Donations continue to come flooding in despite the pandemic, which means a lot to the recipients. ABC News spoke with several soldiers who received shoes, but for security reasons did not share their last names or locations. Master Sgt. David said with so much going on in the world, "just knowing that we're not forgotten while we're out here serving makes the time go by so much easier," while First Lt. Tony said when the boxes arrived at his base and the soldiers opened their gifts, they were "smiling like it's Christmas."

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