Have you ever thought about the footprint you will leave behind?

When we talk about the “big problems” in the world, footwear hardly ever makes the top of the list in most people’s minds. Yet, for kids all around the world, lacking a pair of shoes can impact their ability to get an education and lead a healthy and happy life. Not only are shoes very often an expensive investment, as parents know, children tend to grow out of them rapidly.

So, what is there to be done?

Fortunately, we live in an era of innovators who are driven not by profit, but by a desire to make our world better.

Today, we are introducing you to an amazing project called  The Shoe that Growsa remarkably innovative new type footwear that grows as the kids do! The shoe is the brainchild of Kenton Lee, founder of Because Internationalan organization dedicated to the idea of changing the world through “practical compassion”.

After doing the research for this article, Kenton Lee and our founder, Dr. Lynda, have become great friends, talking regularly and collaborating on ways to help other great projects get the momentum they deserve. Kenton is an amazing person, always thinking about “giving back”.

Here is a great introduction from CBS Evening News to The Shoe that Grows and how this ingenious idea came to be!

Brilliant, right!

First, let’s take a moment to acknowledge how incredible it is that we share this planet with people like Kenton Lee and those he worked with to develop The Shoe That Grows. Despite the prevailing messages on the news, the world is filled with remarkable thought leaders and innovators working tirelessly and proving it’s still an amazing world (our motto).

So, how do you become somebody who changes the world for thousands, even millions of people?

Don’t you need a fancy background? A large team? Major investors?

Why don’t we let Kenton tell you his story…

Real people change the world!

At Ever Widening Circles, we connect so closely with Kenton’s TED Talk. We, like him, saw a need, wanted to respond, and did.

It’s easy to forget that so many people who completely change the world didn’t start as expertsThey didn’t start as millionaires. They started as–and still are–real people, often feeling completely unprepared and inexperienced for the mission they have taken on.

31 minutes

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Small Things that Make a Big Difference; The Shoe that Grow with Kenton Lee

An interview with Kenton Lee, a speaker and the Founder of Because International, an organization that provides growing shoes to children in need.

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Just to remind myself how important it is that I never take my inexperience as a weakness, the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote he mentioned now sits, framed, on my desk:

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

As Lee so rightly points out, we are all capable of “practical compassion”.  We don’t have to be perfect, or fearless, or an expert, we are all capable of “doing what we can to help each other.” Like so many things in life, we are capable of far more than we think.

In fact, it was with a little act of practical compassion that we heard about The Shoe that Grows from one of our long time readers. She and her kids (who incorporate our articles into their home schooling curriculum) saw the Shoe that Grows and emailed us after saying to themselves “This should be on EWC!” Who knows how that ripple effect will grow.

Share a Story with Us!

I’ll leave you with one last thought today. I found the story of The Shoe that Grows remarkably inspiring, and it got me thinking. What if every day I tried in some way to challenge myself to an act of practical compassion. Why not make it a habit? While I am fortunate to have found my “purpose in life” with Ever Widening Circles, perhaps you may find your purpose while experimenting with practical compassion too!

Thank you, Kenton Lee and The Shoe that Grows team for empowering us all, and reminding us that our collective future is as bright as ever with your work!

Before you go, this week we are excited to be rolling out an entirely new look for Ever Widening Circles! After two years with the site you are currently on, we are ready to take the plunge into a new era for Ever Widening Circles that will bring our content to a larger audience and improve the Ever Widening Circles experience for you, our readers. We hope you like the new site, and we can’t wait to show you all of the fun new projects, collaborations, and ideas we have in store!

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!


Looking for more inspiration today?

Clicking on any of the articles down below can give you a dose of energy knowing that this world still has passionate people who care about making it a better place for every being that joins us here, whether it’s through works of art, understanding or action. Take a look!

If you can’t decide on one, we have a nifty little “Surprise Me!” button in our sidebar that’ll bring you to an article that may have never been in your peripherals.


  1. “A New Shoe That Grows for Children.” YouTube. CBS Evening News, 11 July 2015. Web. 06 Mar. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvMQLYTdYUA>.
  2. Lee, Kenton. “You Don’t Need a Doctorate to Make a Difference | Kenton Lee | TEDxBoise.” YouTube. TEDx Talks, 02 May 2016. Web. 06 Mar. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpFb7eGt-4g>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

CEO of Ever Widening Circles, Founder of EWCed

Since 2015, Liesl has been a writer, editor, and is now the CEO at Ever Widening Circles. She is a life-long camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often root-tripping—outdoor enthusiast. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV