Giving Heart and Sole to Haitian Children

For the past 2 weeks, 7-year-old Zachary Baldwin has been obsessed with shoes. Along with his classmates at this Wadley, Alabama school, Zachary has been frantically collecting shoes by the box-load to donate to the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

From sneakers to sandals, the kids know it's not the sole that matters, but the difference made in the souls wearing them.

"You just need to have something on your feet it doesn't matter what brand they are," said Karion Birdsong.

CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller reports the shoes collected by the students wind up in a warehouse in nearby Roanoke, Alabama - the base of operation for Soles 4 Souls.

Soles for Souls

The shoes become part of an international relief effort started after the 2004 Tsunami. Soles for Souls now gives away a pair of shoes every nine seconds, that's 3.5 million every year. A million more are now pledged to Haiti.

"We know shoes aren't the first thing they need," said Paul Wilson, president of Soles for Souls. "But they're the foundation to rebuild their lives."

Worldwide, more than 300 million children live without shoes - roughly the same number thrown away in American landfills every year.

To submit an idea for The American Spirit send us an e-mail: theamericanspirit@cbsnews.com

Giving Kids Their First Pair of Shoes

From Texas to Tennessee the demand to recycle old shoes is growing - even smaller charities, like Chicago's "Share Your Soles," are making strides.

Share Your Soles founder Mona Purdy - known as the queen of soles - went to Haiti over the weekend to hand deliver the shoes she's collected.

Share Your Soles

Back in Alabama the kids hope to make a difference from the ground up.