About usThe ShoeBe involvedblog

Our Story

The Shoe That Grows started when our Founder Kenton Lee was living and working in Nairobi, Kenya in 2007.

One day while walking with the kids...

he noticed a little girl in a white dress next to him who had  shoes that were way too small for her feet. That led to questions about why.

And finally an idea:

“Wouldn’t it be great if there was a shoe that could adjust and expand – so that kids always had a pair of shoes that fit?”

Kenton and his team had the idea.

But they struggled through rejection from shoe companies and failed attempts at prototypes. But they believed it was a good idea that could help a lot of kids.  So they kept going.

And finally, after 5 years of hard work, it went from an idea to reality.

The Shoe That Grows was born!

The Shoe That Grows is the first project of an organization committed to


Because International was founded in 2009.  They are a 501(c)3 organization headquartered in Nampa, Idaho.  They listen to those living in extreme poverty to hear their thoughts, ideas, and dreams for a better life – and then work together to help make those ideas into a reality. The sole purpose for our first project is to help kid stay healthy through sustainable and solid footwear.

You can find out more about them at BecauseInternational.org.

meet our team

Kenton Lee


+1 208-989-8867

Andrew Kroes


+1 208-880-8285

Luke Goodman

Director of Operations


Kayla Hetherington

Communications Coordinator


our board

Audie McRae

Chairman of the Board

Audie first learned about Because International and The Shoe that Grows in April 2015 when the organization was profiled in a national publication. Audie was immediately drawn to the work of the organization and its dedication to “Practical Compassion”. Audie and his mother have always shared a love for shoes and he felt that this only supported his desire to get involved with the organization.  

Given his career in accounting, audit, and consulting for not-for-profit and development sector clients, Audie has provided invaluable perspective and guidance for the organization.

Rodger Fisher

Rodger is a Boise resident along with his wife Tracy and their son Carsten.  Rodger is an attorney with a focus primarily in contracts.  Before becoming a lawyer Rodger taught elementary school for ten years.  He has a passion for just about any outdoor activity and really enjoys working in his yard (seriously).

Rodger was drawn to Because International’s by their amazing mission, Practical Compassion. – “The idea of making sure kids around the world have a pair of shoes to wear is both humbling and motivating.  I look forward to providing insight and getting involved with this great cause.  I believe the benefit I receive from being involved will truly be life changing.”

Eric Fredriksen

Eric, a Boise native, uses his experience with accounting and insurance to provide perspective and oversight to the organization.  

He and his wife Jana were recently blessed with their first daughter, Kiki. Eric loves the active, outdoor lifestyle that comes easily to Idahoans

Heath Gamboa

Heath was drawn to the organization given his passion for helping people, especially children.  “It is impossible not be moved and driven when working with an organization like this and seeing the good being done for children around the world.”   

Heath has been in banking for 10 years as a banker, manager and now a commercial relationship manager.

Gary Howlett

Gary is a School Psychologist, teacher & learning advisor with offices in Seattle, WA & Saigon, VN. He teaches at the University of Washington (Strengths-based Learning:  Serving the Underserved) works with the AMA Foundation and with humanitarian groups across southeast Asia.  “We provide professional development for teachers and do a mentoring program.  We are in the early stages of developing collaborations with educators in India, South Africa, Cambodia & Myanmar.”

Gary has a passionate interest in collaborating with folks doing good work & "learning service".

Joe Pearson

Joe, an Idahoan for over 20 years, works as a realtor in the Treasure Valley. Joe has been a friend to Kenton and Andrew for many years, attending church together and knowing their families.  

“I became interested in serving on the board after seeing what an impact Kenton and his team at Because International are having on people all over the world.”

Nathan Roskam

Nathan has served on the board of Because International since inception. His valuable guidance and positive attitude have been invaluable from the start.  “I’m always looking for where God is working and seeking to join that work and change the world!"

Nathan currently serves as Chief Development Officer for Extreme Nazarene Missions, and prior, Nathan served as Associate Pastor of Youth and Young adults for over 15 years at Liberty Bible Church of the Nazarene and Nampa First Church of the Nazarene.

contact us

+1 208-697-4417
1224 1st St. S. Suite 301, Nampa, ID 83651