While many sneakerheads are awaiting Black Friday sales, the organization Kicks 4 the City is filling the void for those who can’t afford trendy shoes styles in good condition.
The non-profit is readying to give away sneakers to the needy with its 6th annual shoe drive, which concludes on Friday. The three-week effort precedes national distribution events at homeless shelters on Saturday in seven major cities.
Last year 21,000 pairs were given away nationally following the drive.
“Chicago P.D.” star LaRoyce Hawkins, who serves as an ambassador for the program, told Footwear News that Kicks 4 the City also partners with major brands to donate on-trend sneakers for inner city youths throughout the rest of the year.
LaRoyce HawkinsRex Shutterstock
“It’s important because we’re trying to put shoes on the feet of the homeless — dope shoes, the shoes that kids actually want,” Hawkins explained. “We do our best to make sure that these brands are accountable for allowing us to give this experience to people who need it the most.”
Puma and Nike are among the labels that have partnered with the charity. Retailer The Athlete’s Foot has returned for the second year as a sponsor.
Hawkins added that the annual drive that takes place in November is for the public to donate gently-used sneakers for all ages, regardless of trend or style. “It’s not just for people who want to give up their Yeezys or Jordans,” Hawkins said.
“We get the brands to make those trendy styles available to people who want them. They create more than just compliments, they create confidence. If we get kids from the inner city who can’t afford a Jordan, they can feel good about themselves in these shoes. As shallow as it might sound, in inner cities, sometimes, it’s shoes that make you feel better about your life and build self-confidence.”