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"When I met Ruben and his family, I was deeply affected by the poverty they live in, but even more so by the amount of love I felt from them and for them.
I couldn't understand how their lives could be so dramatically different than ours at home in Canada, When I learnt that children in many countries around the world aren't able to attend school for various reasons including owning a pair of shoes, I knew I wanted to do something to create change”
                - Founder, Kelly Strongitharm

At Ruben's Shoes Society, we believe that all children deserve access to education. We believe that education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty and that every child deserves the right to create a better opportunity for themselves, their families, and their communities.


How can we expect nations to elevate themselves out of poverty unless its people are educated and empowered to do so?   
Our mission is to deliver access to education to the millions of children around the world living without it.


Our vision is to empower the next generation of leaders and put an end to extreme poverty once and for all! 

Give Education. Give Opportunity. Give Change.  #ITFEELSGOODTOGIVE

meet ruben

Ruben is a real boy who lives in the Dominican Republic. He was born January 12, 2002 and is the inspiration behind Ruben’s Shoes Society.

Our founder, Kelly Strongitharm, started sponsoring Ruben in 2005 and after seven years of watching him grow up through pictures and letters, Kelly was finally able to meet him in 2012 and her life was forever changed. The connection between them was instant and they gave each other unconditional love and complete understanding despite being from opposite parts of the world.

​Ruben, with a huge heart full of love and a contagious smile was so inspiring that he started a movement. This little boy has changed everything.

Meet Ruben
Our Team

Meet our team of board members, some of which have been a part of Ruben's Shoes Society since its inception. Our team comes from various backgrounds and brings a diverse range of skill sets to Ruben's Shoes; and more importantly what we all have in common are the same core values of Iiving passionately, acting with integrity, and creating infinite possibilities for all. 

Kelly Strongitharm

Founder & CEO


Sean Della Vedova

Director of Education

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Natasha Oviatt



Desirée Dupuis

Board Chair


Dave Masson


Kristy Masson

Director of Marketing

Amy Beeman


Bruce Strongitharm


we built a secondary school!

Construction is complete

on our Secondary School!


We are creating long-lasting sustainable change through our
Education Sponsorship Program.

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