During his spare time, 40 year-old New Yorker Andre McDonnell hands out free shoes to homeless. For less than three years, he has given away over 5,000 pairs of shoes through his charity organization ‘It’s From the Sole’.
‘It’s From the Sole‘ is a organization that collects new or slightly used sneakers through donations. The donated sneakers will be then thoroughly clean by Andre. It usually cost him at least $50 to $60 to wash the shoes each week. The newly cleaned shoes will be handed out to the homeless around the Grand Central Terminal and Union Square. He also make it a habit to take a picture with the recipient and e-mails the photo to the donor. He also puts up the pictures on his Instagram page, where he has over 2,000 followers.
His campaign started three years ago during a basketball game that Andre was playing with his friends.
“I saw a homeless guy with no shoes on, so I left the ballgame, took off my shoes and offered him my sneakers and he took them with a smile,” he recalled. “As I walked away, I felt the gravel under my own feet, and it just hit me there has to be something more that I can do.”
Andre has taken the campaign to other cities such as Philadelphia and even Paris. He now accept donations such as food, clothing, pillows and anything in which his motto implies “It’s the little things that count.”
Check It’s From the Sole Facebook page or its official website, itsfromthesole.org if you are interested in donating a pair of sneakers, or anything else that might be of use to a homeless person.