The 21-year-old college student, along with her brother, hand-paints 50 pairs a shoes a month for children living with serious disabilities and battling life-threatening diseases. Each sneaker reflects the child’s fight to live with colors, characters and images that bring them hope.
Steiner, who earned the nickname “Peach” as a kid, turned her passion to help into a nonprofit, appropriately named “Peach’s Neet Feet,” with the motto: “From my heart to your sole.” Now, she’s garnering national attention with a sponsorship from Vans Shoes as well as winning the Random Act of Kindness Foundation’s “Extreme Kindness Challenge.”
“They’re fighting for their life and if I can do one small thing for them,” Steiner said in a video produced by the Random Act of Kindness Foundation, “I’m going to.”
For Brenten Spellbring, who loves nothing more than the mountains, receiving a pair of sneakers with his favorite image sketched inside the letters of his name uplifted his spirits during a particularly dark period in his life.
“Sitting in a hospital for two years straight, there’s not much you can do to pick yourself up,” said Brenten, who battled cancer for four years. “Getting Peach’s Neet Feet is one of the coolest things that’s every happened to me. It really helped me get through cancer.”
That’s just the kind of reaction Steiner hopes for each time she delivers her gift.
“My dream was always to change the world,” Steiner said. “So, with this, I’m not changing the world as a whole, but I’m changing one kid’s world with every pair of shoes that I send out.”
Original post May 2012: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/11/madison-steiner-peachs-neet-shoes_n_1509602.html