Deborah Hausladen of Malvern, Pennsylvania, has been a mother on a mission that all started with a call from her son who was serving in Afghanistan.
"He needed a pair of sneakers (because) his sneakers were starting to wear out," she told ABC News recently. "We said we'd gladly send him a pair of sneakers over and we asked about the other men in his platoon and he said, 'Same situation.' That they needed sneakers. Their sneakers were wearing out. Within a week, we had Sneakers for Soldiers formed."
She calls her nonprofit Sneakers for Soldiers. The organization was started in April 2018 and it partners with a local shoe business and a marketing firm.
Since April 2018, Hausladen has shipped more than 200 pairs of sneakers. She now has a waiting list for sneakers (or tennis shoes, depending on where you're located.)
Each shoe is chosen specifically for the soldier, taking into considering their feet and the conditions in which the soldier is serving.
The conditions facing military members can be harsh, with some temperatures exceeding 120 degrees and rugged terrain.
Soldiers who'd received sneakers from Hausladen's nonprofit expressed gratitude.
"It reminds me that we are not forgotten," one soldier said.
Hausladen shared with ABC News one of the thank-you notes that she'd received from a soldier who'd gotten a pair of sneakers from her nonprofit.
"I’ll tell you it really does make a difference feeling the love and support of our fellow Americans," she read.
"It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that something as basic and simple as a sneaker is putting a smile on their face," she said.