We’ve all heard the cliche, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

From four-story-high billboards and full-color glossy magazine to social media viewed on smartphones and wearable technology, great images stop us in our tracks.

Images capture our attention because or brains are hard-wired to react to them. Vision is the most active of our senses. That’s one reason why a post on social media accompanied by an image is 10 times more likely to receive engagement than one without an image. 

Think about this blog entry, for example. Did you look at the words first, or the image? Did my social media post of this image with a short teaser inspire you to click over to this website? Pictures have the power to attract us, persuade us, and ultimately, inspire us to action. 

Such is the case with the image that accompanies this post. 

I snapped this photo in 2003 during my first visit to Uganda. I was inside the fenced school campus looking out. The kids were outside looking in. When I asked my Ugandan guide why the kids were gathered around the fence, he told me their parents couldn’t afford the shoes they needed to attend school so they were sent to learn as much as they could listening at the fence. 

That image and his words were like a seed planted in my soul. That seed was nourished and watered over the next decade eventually blossoming into the Uganda Shoe Trees we know today. 

For every $20 donation, a pair of custom-measured, locally-sourced, hand-made shoes is given to a needy child so that they can attend one of our seven partner school. In addition, two fruit tree saplings are donated – one to be planted in the school orchard and the other at the child’s home. To this date, because of your generosity, Uganda Shoe Trees has delivered over 3000 pairs of shoes and 6000 trees have been planted. 

On behalf of everyone here at Uganda Shoe Trees, thank you!