About us

Because International believes in PRACTICAL COMPASSION. 
We want to listen to those living in extreme poverty to hear their thoughts, ideas, and dreams for how to make their daily lives better.  And then we help turn those ideas into a reality.

Basically, we try to make things better by making better things.

We love helping kids have better regular, daily lives because it puts them in the best possible position to succeed.  And that is what this is all about – shoes, bednets, any project we work on – it is all in an effort to put kids in the best possible position to have success in their lives.

Here we go.

our story

After college at Northwest Nazarene University in his hometown of Nampa, Idaho – Kenton Lee traveled the world to gain perspective and see firsthand the issues happening in developing countries.  One day while working and living at an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya in Eastern Africa, Kenton saw a little girl in a white dress walking next to him.  He was shocked at how small her shoes were.  And this led to an idea.

What if we could create a shoe that could adjust and expand?  A shoe that could grow?


When Kenton got back to Idaho, he grabbed some friends and they started to tackle the idea of a growing shoe.  But they also thought it would be great to work on other projects for other issues, too.  Maybe innovation could help create other products, too? 
In April, 2009 Because International officially became a nonprofit organization.  The first project: The Shoe That Grows.   This project came to fruition in the Fall of 2014.  And now is off-and-running (pardon the pun).  Check out the website to see the impact and be involved with this amazing innovation.

But our story does not end with The Shoe.  We have other issues to tackle.  We have more people who need someone to listen to their ideas and dreams.  We have more work to do to help put kids in the best possible position to succeed.


Here we go.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES & VALUES

We have several core beliefs that guide everything we do at Because International:

Don’t Recreate the Wheel

There are already incredible organizations and people doing awesome things.  Instead of doing the exact same thing they are doing – we love working together with them through partnerships. We simply want to be a resource to come alongside those already working with kids to help them do their work even better.

Listening

There is great value in going right to the source to find out how to improve the daily lives of the poor.  And that’s what we do: we listen to the thoughts, ideas, and dreams of those living in poverty to hear how they believe their lives could be improved.

Practical Compassion

We want to keep things simple by focusing on practical aid for the everyday, regular life stuff that people experience in their normal lives.  We believe that positive impacts on daily life will help put kids in the best possible position to succeed.

Our Staff

Kenton lee

Founder

kenton@becauseinternational.org
208-989-8867

Andrew Kroes

President

andrew@becauseinternational.org
208-880-8285

Luke Goodman

Director of Operations

luke@becauseinternational.org

Kayla Hetherington

Communications Coordinator

kayla@becauseinternational.org

Our Board

ERIC FREDRIKSEN, Rodger Fisher, HEATH GAMBOA, GARY HOWLETT, AUDIE MCRAE, JOE PEARSON, & NATHAN ROSKAM.

FAQ's

Are you a for-profit or a non-profit?

Because International was founded in 2009. They are a 501(c)3 non-profit 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.

Why did you create The Shoe That Grows?

The Shoe That Grows started when Founder and Executive Director Kenton Lee was living and working in Nairobi, Kenya in 2007. One day while walking to church, 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?” And just like that The Shoe That Grows was born. These shoes are intended and designed for children living in extreme poverty that otherwise would not have access to shoes or only access to shoes in poor condition that will quickly be outgrown.

How do you distribute shoes to kids in need?

We currently get shoes to kids in need in two ways 

1. People can donate to fill bags of shoes that we send to partner organizations who then distribute them to kids that need them most.

2. People living in or travelling to areas in need can purchase shoes to distribute themselves. 

So rather than recreate the wheel and create our own distribution channels, we instead partner with those already serving these children and rely on others to deliver shoes to kids that need them most.

What size are the shoes?

We've created two sizes: 
Small - generally fits children between the ages of 5 and 9 years of age 
Large - generally fits children between the ages of 10 and 15 years of age

How much do the shoes cost?

Shoes can be donated to our partner organizations through the Fill-A-Duffle program for $15 per pair. If you'd like to purchase shoes to take on your journey, see our pricing page at theshoethatgrows.org.

Do the shoes really last 5 years?

Having a shoe that grows five sizes doesn't matter unless the shoe is ultra-durable. As we have distributed shoes over the past few years, we have been continuously gathering feedback, iterating, and making the shoe even better for these kids that so desperately need it. 

We have worked with industry experts to create a simple design with the highest quality materials - leather, compressed rubber, and snaps. No mechanical parts of gears to break. Easy to clean. Easy to use.

How can I buy some? And are they easy to take with me?

Yes! We rely on those travelling to areas of poverty and serving children in need to distribute the shoes. Check out how you can purchase some at theshoethatgrows.org. 

Also, we've designed the shoe to not only be functional and long-lasting, but to ship and travel easily as well. In fact, 50 small pairs can be disassembled, folded flat, and packed into a standard sized duffle bag (that we provide) that weighs less than 50 pounds. You can take 50 pairs of shoes in a bag on a plane. Incredible.

How can I be involved?

In addition to buying shoes to distribute yourself, you can donate to fill bags of shoes that we send to partner organizations who then distribute them to kids in need. Donate to fill bags here at theshoethatgrows.org 

Finally, you can donate to Because International. One-time or recurring donations are directed toward research and development of future projects and other expenses that go along with producing as many shoes as possible. Donate here!

Are you planning any other products?

We are! Although we are busy getting shoes to kids in need, Because International is about innovating and we plan to create additional products that help people living in extreme poverty around the world. We want to continue to help in simple, practical ways. Stay tuned with more information about how you can help!

Questions about our return policy?

If you are unsatisfied with your order of The Shoe That Grows, you may return the unused product within 30 days of the original purchase date. Once Because International receives the product and processes the return, a refund will be issued for the cost of the pair of shoes. Because International will not refund the original cost of shipping and will not cover the return shipping. Please ship the shoes to our office located at 1224 1st St S, Suite 301, Nampa, Idaho 83651.   

Please submit your refund request to info@becauseinternational.org.