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

PRACTICAL COMPASSION

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

Founder

kenton@becauseinternational.org
kentonlee.com
+1 208-989-8867

Andrew Kroes

President

andrew@becauseinternational.org
+1 208-880-8285

Luke Goodman

Director of Operations

luke@becauseinternational.org

Kayla Hetherington

Communications Coordinator

kayla@becauseinternational.org

meet
our board

Nathan Roskam

Chairman of the Board

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.

Cyndi Cahill

Driven by a long-standing passion for helping children, Cyndi has been involved in a variety of Non-Profit organizations. In addition to her serving on the Board of Because International, She currently volunteers for Side by Side, a non-profit located in Seattle helping prepare meals for the Ronald McDonald house.  

Her free time is spent with her family, enjoying time outdoors and travelling.

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".

Larry Levy

Larry became involved after viewing a local TV news story about Because International‘s approach to “Practical Compassion”. Larry has provided much needed experience and guidance for the organization during our recent period of rapid growth.

After graduating from Staunton Military Academy and the University of Delaware and following military service in Vietnam, he began a business career in his family’s manufacturing company, eventually being promoted as its president. Larry’s career has also included other businesses that he has started and operated, and in retirement, he was also a photojournalist.

Audie McRae

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.

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.”

Tobin Rogers

Tobin has served on the board of Because International for over 5 years. “It was an easy decision for me after meeting Kenton.  We hit it off immediately and it took only a few words from him about The Shoe to be inspired with what he was about to do.”  Tobin has helped over the years with creative development, including photography, video production, website development and more.   

“I am drawn to start-ups, and especially to those that focus on creating a happier and healthier way of life within communities in need.” In addition to his involvement with Because, Tobin has his hands full with a variety of creative and entrepreneurial endeavors.

Dan Smoke

Dan has been CFO for both public and privately held manufacturing companies during a career spanning 45 years.  He has also held a variety of board positions and brings a wealth of experience and perspective to Because International.  

“Having been around manufacturing companies my whole career, I was initially intrigued with the design and functionality of “The Shoe that Grows”.  The fact that these shoes address an enormous children’s public health issue is most heartwarming.   My wife Mary and I and our families, including 46 nieces and nephews, are grateful for all that we have been given.  When you consider the contrast with children who desperately need shoes, the decision to become involved with Because International is a simple one.”

contact us

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

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