On March 14, 1998, David Lane, II the sole son of David and Elaine Lane tragically lost his life as a result of gunfire at the age of 18. In that same year 3,792 American children and teens (19 and under) died by gunfire in murders, suicides and unintentional shootings according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is more than 10 young people a day. When we see or read about statistics, we think in terms of numbers, and though 3,792 is a large number, the number 1 was a large number for Elaine that year. (1) one doubled and became (2) as a portion of her soul died that March also. It is possible that 3,792 has doubled or even tripled as well since that time. For you see, the parents of all those children as well as their siblings were also affected.
Our society has also been affected. Did we lose the one who had the secret of curing cancer? Did we lose a Senator or even a President? Did we lose a humanitarian who would travel the world for human issues? We’ll never know. For those hopes and dreams are forever gone from us.
David was a very special young person and his parents’ only son. Unfortunately, there are many Davids who have made their external exit through the hands of misguided troubled youth. After receiving the shoes worn by David on that tragic day, Ms. Lane felt the need to tell this story to young people around the world reminding them of the fragility of life and how important it is to carefully nurture and preserve every minute of it. Ms. Lane wanted to encourage teens to pledge to honor life by choosing to make good decisions rather than living on impulse.
On September 23, 2006 Ms. Lane invited a few of her closest friends and confidants to present the idea of creating an organization in honor of her son, David, whose mission would be “to promote love of self and community. To instill in the minds of our youth the ultimate responsibility of creating a safe, nonviolent environment whereby all children can live, play and learn. To encourage our young people to become productive citizens by making a contributions to society and the world; to provide financial assistance to deserving young men toward higher education thereby enhancing their ability to make connections to real world success. She proposed that the organization would solicit teens and young adults to donate shoes in honor of a friend or family member who has lost his/her life through teen violence. On that day, the group agreed to serve on the Board of Directors of the organization and further develop its’ mission and goals.
Federally recognized as a NJ Non-Profit Corporation, David’s Shoes, has shared the message of honoring life with more than 7,000 young men women and children throughout New Jersey and New York at more than 100 sites. The shoes that have been collected now create an effective exhibit that is displayed at various schools, youth centers, churches, and organizations dedicated to uplifting the lives of children and teens. Participants are invited to walk through the pathway of shoes that depict the reality of young lives lost.
Another goal of the organization is to award annual Book Scholarships in the amount of $500.00 to deserving males who will be/are attending an accredited college or university. These scholarships are renewed each year the student continues enrollment for a period of four years.
“It is our hope to enact the African Proverb ‘It take a village to raise a child'”
–Elaine Lane, Founder Of David’s Shoes