I first met Robert Epstone at the Domainer Meet-Up Jason and I held this year before DOMAINfest. Robert was pretty easy to spot. While most of the attendees were dressed-up, some wearing button-down shirts and dress shoes, Robert definitely stood-out in the crowd, he wasn’t wearing any shoes. Robert is a Domain Investor and Philanthropist that made a very bold move that is already making a very big difference through a charity his runs called Sole Men.
When I first met Robert they had yet to embark on the journey of a lifetime, a 535 km walk, barefoot, around Bali. The goal? To help homeless children by providing education and medical care. They shed their shoes to symbolize all the children who don’t have a single pair of shoes to their name.
It can be all too easy for us to look around our own environment and conclude that we are living in a time of plenty. Heck, how many of you reading this right now have more than one television in your home? How about a nice car? Shoes are probably the last thing on your mind and if you wanted to buy ten pairs of shoes right now, you could do it without making a major dent in your finances.
For so many children all over the world life is anything but easy. Forget television, computers, or even a bike, so many kids don’t even have something as simple as shoes. The Sole Men have taken an approach that I’m a big fan of – using the money their charity raises to educate and help children. This isn’t a one-time thing, the education and assistance they provide can impact a child’s life forever.
After 29 days and 535 km the Sole Men had completed their first walk raising over $12,000. However this is only the beginning. The Sole Men have pledged to stay barefoot until they’ve raised 1 million dollars to help children all over the world.
The Domain community has an incredible concentration of wealth thanks to some of the great investments many of us have made. With success comes responsibility and I feel it is our responsibility to help causes like Sole Men and The Water School which are both changing people’s lives all over the world. So next time you make a big sale think of how some of that money could be used to change the lives of people that don’t even have the absolute basics that we all take for granted.
To find-out more about Sole Men please visit www.SoleMen.org. You can also meet Robert in person at DOMAINfest this year – like I said, he’ll be pretty easy to spot!