In the fall of 2009, SFJ Founder, Diane Studer, went on her first mission trip to Ethiopia, Africa. On this trip, Diane was standing in the hut of a village pastor, when the Lord gave her a powerful vision of His plan to start an organization called Soles For Jesus. This plan was for people to collect shoes in the U.S., send them across the ocean and distribute them to the under-served, while sharing the life-changing message of Jesus Christ–starting in Ethiopia and spreading throughout Africa.
As soon as Diane returned home, she began sharing her call to start Soles For Jesus with others and received donated warehouse and office space. This allowed SFJ to be up and running, just weeks after the return of her first trip! A board of directors was formed, and volunteers began serving in the warehouse at S.O.S. events (to Sort & Organize Shoes). The web site went live in December of 2009 and immediately emails, shoes and donations arrived from across the country. SFJ became an official 501(c)(3) in January, 2010.
Since the start of Soles For Jesus, strong partnerships in Africa have been formed, thousands of shoes have been sent to Africa and thousands of lives have been changed!