Luis Obispo businessman Craig Cowan thought giving would be easy when
his 9-year-old son, Cole Bradley, decided to collect shoes for orphans
in Nicaragua. The footwear was
supposed to be a Christmas present that would allow children to go to school; they're not allowed in the classroom if they're barefoot.
Locals enthusiastically donated 5,000 pairs
within weeks, but shipping problems and customs bureaucracy
delayed the delivery well into January.
I joined Cowan in Costa Rica in January, 2005
and chronicled his journey into Nicaragua. The resulting 3-day series, which I wrote and photographed, later won third place in explanatory journalism in the Inland Press Association's 2005 national newswriting contest (25k to 75k circulation division).