When Nicholas Lowinger was 5 years old, he was excited to show off his new light-up sneakers. But he soon realized that the kids in the homeless shelter he was visiting with his mom were living in circumstances very different from his own. Most were wearing tattered old shoes; some didn’t even have a pair of shoes to call their own. By the time Nicholas was 12, he started a project to give brand new shoes to kids in the shelters of Rhode Island. Since then, he has given away shoes to over 44,000 children in shelters in 43 states throughout the United States.