'It's From The Sole' hands out sneakers to homeless
NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - When Andre McDonnell and Zachary Zarba look down on someone, they're actually looking to help. And this is sometimes what they see: New Yorkers without shoes, or bending heels to make a pair fit.
Ours is a cruel city to be barefoot in, especially during the winter. So Andre founded 'Its From The Sole', to give the less fortunate something comfortable to walk in.
"I'm just trying to take this billion dollar sneaker industry and give it to people who need it not people who want it," said McDonnell.
Since creating It's From The Sole six years ago, they've handed out 25,000 pairs of shoes across 20 states and half a dozen countries to children, men and women in need. On this day they packed a suitcase with 30 sneakers and set off to help strangers.
Andre's operation gets a lot of help from friends. (It) doesn't hurt that Zachary is an NBA referee. He's gotten fellow referees to donate their high end game sneakers.
"To see some of the people with swollen feet, it's humbling. Makes you understand what's important in this world," said Zarba.
A crucial part of them being able to do this is sponsorship. That's why De.c 18 will be the most important day for them this year.
Not only are they being recognized by the NBA's Referee's Association, they're hoping other sports teams get off the bench and help.
Andre says his end game is to get children involved.
"If you don't teach a child to help when they're young, when they're old they're not going to do anything to help anybody," said McDonnell.
Lessons on the importance of simply providing warmth and comfort to those who are less fortunate.