From Frist: A Holiday Message of Hope

The holiday season is upon us, and we want to offer you the opportunity to bring meaningful health and education to children around the world through one simple gift: shoes.

For just $20, we can provide a pair of athletic shoes for children either in Tennessee or in the developing world. This is possible through a partnership of my global health organization, Hope Through Healing Hands, and the fantastic cause Soles 4 Souls, which is a Nashville-based organization putting shoes on the feet of kids in over 125 countries.

Did you know that in Tennessee alone, over 100,000 kids are in need of something as simple as a pair of sneakers? Providing shoes for these children promotes wellness, physical education, and play for underprivileged children in Tennessee. If we can provide the means for just a small amount of exercise, we can join in the fight against childhood obesity, while encouraging a healthier and longer life.

The problem isn't just here at home, in Central and South America, shoes are integral to combating neglected tropical diseases, like hookworm and other soil-transmitted diseases, which disable, disfigure, and even cause death to over 1.4 billion people. When a child living in extreme poverty receives a pair of shoes, you are offering her the opportunity both for better health and better education, because shoes are an important part of many school uniforms.

I encourage you to help this holiday season and offer the gift of health and education to children in need.

How? Go to and pledge to give a pair of shoes for the 2010-2011 school year. We have ambitious goals; help us meet them.

Happy Holidays to you and yours,