Hundreds of homeless men and women stood in line on Friday afternoon at the Los Angeles Mission, to receive free shoes. And they were not any ordinary shoes. The latest designs from Los Angeles based lifestyle footwear brand Creative Recreation were gracing the feet of Skid Row residents by the end of the day.
The shoes were donated through Soles4Souls, a nonprofit that procures shoes and gets them to those in need all over the world. Soles4Souls has partnered with the Los Angeles Mission several times in the past to distribute shoes on Skid Row.
Celebrity volunteers – including Donald Faison (Skyline, Scrubs), Liam Hemsworth (The Last Song), Maksim Chmerkovskiy, (Dancing with the Stars), Jayson Blair (The Hard Times of R. J. Berger), Nick Hogan (Hogan Knows Best), Joshua Logan Moore (Desperate Housewives) – along with volunteers from Creative Recreation came to the Los Angeles Mission to lend a hand with the giveaway
“We truly believe that the gift of shoes can change someone’s life and provide hope for a brighter tomorrow,” said Wayne Elsey, Founder and CEO of Soles4Souls. The nonprofit’s driving purpose is to provide shoes in the US and internationally. Serious health conditions can be caused by going barefoot, even through the toughest soles. As the skin on the bottom of the feet toughens and thickens, large cracks can form, which allows parasitic infections to penetrate the skin.
In addition, constant cuts and scrapes to the feet and ankles frequently become infected and many of these infections can lead to ulcers and even death.
“The Los Angeles Mission and Creative Recreation have been great supporters of our organization and continue to partner with us in our mission to serve others,” continued Elsey.
Creative Recreation, a shoe manufacturer in Los Angeles, donated almost 1200 shoes to Soles4Souls and the Los Angeles Mission. The Mission distributed nearly 500 shoes Friday afternoon. The remainder will be distributed to men, women and children in community as they come to the Mission for clothing and other needed services.
“Many homeless and poor suffer from foot issues because of ill-fitting shoes, and the inability to take care of their feet adequately,” said Herb Smith, President of the Los Angeles Mission. “New, correct-sized shoes will make a big difference to aid in their overall health and well-being.”
“Creative Recreation prides itself in finding new ways to better our local community,” said Sara Wasserman, Creative Recreation Marketing Manager. “Partnering with Soles4Souls and the Los Angeles Mission allows our staff the opportunity to interact with those less fortunate and make a difference. We want to help people take the first step towards boosting confidence in order to change their situation by simply providing a nice pair of shoes.”