NewsPhoenix Metro News


Valley child buying, sending shoes to Arizona foster children with uplifting messages

Posted at 9:47 PM, Jun 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-07 01:28:45-04

A Valley ten-year-old says he was inspired by a chance interaction with LeBron James to make a difference in his community.

Gavin Henss attended the Suns v.s Cavaliers game last year holding a sign court side encouraging the NBA superstar to continue being more than an athlete. James spotted him in the crowd and had a security guard deliver his game-worn armband. That night Henss decided he would do more too.

It begins with a simple message handwritten by the young boy inspired to feed the soul through giving.

"Dear Andrew, you are an awesome kid, and no doubt deserve these shoes," said Gavin Henss, reading from a note he just wrote.

"There's a lot of people that need stuff compared to us," said Gavin.

Over the last year, the ten-year-old has taken steps to change the lives of foster children around the state.

He was inspired by his own foster sister who came to their family with so little.

"When we got our foster daughter she was a year old, she literally had nothing, she had a small bag of clothes that didn't fit and the clothes on her body," said Gavin's mom Alia.

"Some of them have shoes, but they don't fit them, or they're all torn up," said Gavin.

That's when Gavin began raising money and spending his own.

"Kids always need new shoes, and we reached out to a couple of foster agencies to make sure that is something that is a need," said Gavin's father, Shawn.

And with more than 12,000 foster children in Arizona alone, the need was great.

What began slowly, soon hit its stride.

In just 12 months, Henss has purchased, packaged, and delivered a hundred pairs.

"We gave this kid his shoes, and then he said I love these shoes and I'll never forget this moment," said Gavin recalling one of the deliveries.

"We're gonna give kids some hope, and we're gonna give them maybe that 20 minutes when they're opening up the box and opening up the bag, where they can escape for a minute," said his father.

His organization "Giving-Sole" caught the attention of Colorado Rockies Shortstop Trevor Story. The two met face to face at spring training, and are now pairing up together to sell t-shirts.

"All the proceeds of the t-shirt sales go to Giving-Sole," said his father.

Proceeds that will help Gavin deliver on his next goal of giving away 500 pairs of shoes by 2020.

But there's no doubt; this young man won't be stopping there.

"Just keep giving cause there's always gonna be more kiddos that need help," said Gavin.

If you'd like to donate to Henss' efforts, click here.