"Something that seems so simple, a pair of shoes, made the difference between getting an education or not," Nicholas said. "It's more than just giving them a new pair of shoes. ... That's really what makes it so special for me."
The Lowinger family's garage is full of new shoes that have been donated by footwear companies and stores. If they don't already have the specific size and style that a child has requested, Nicholas uses the group's monetary donations to buy them. The shoes are then shipped to the shelters or, whenever possible, personally delivered by Nicholas.
More than 1,000 volunteers have helped out with the group. Nicholas works 15 hours a week on the project -- a time limit imposed by his mother to ensure that he has enough time for schoolwork and other activities.
Nicholas said he doesn't allow his age get in the way of achieving his dreams, and he encourages other young people to do the same.
"No one is ever too young or old to help others. Kids don't always realize that they have the power to make a difference," he said. "I urge other kids to find a passion, create big ideas and act. Kids can make a huge difference in this world."