LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) --A Long Beach doctor, who has led a shoe drive for nearly 20 years, has collected and given away approximately 100,000 pairs of shoes to those in need across the Southland.
It all started when Dr. Don Kim was in Mexico doing free podiatry care.
"Kids that I saw in Mexico, they were playing soccer, but they didn't have shoes. Even though they were great players, obviously it couldn't protect them from injuring their toes, and when they're kicking and spraining ankles and a lot of different things they do playing soccer, they can really help when you have shoes," Kim said.
After his trip, he realized that a lot of people in Southern California were also in need of shoes. Kim has donated about 100,000 pairs of shoes in the 19 years since the shoe drive began.
His biggest shoe collector is 13-year-old Monica Hyndman.
"It makes me feel good to help other kids," Monica said.
Monica was only in second grade when she started helping the shoe drive and has been involved for six years. She sets up collection boxes at her school, where her friends bring in their old shoes that are still wearable.
"I do this because it's the right thing to do, and I was inspired when I went to Guatemala when I was in first grade. I took a trip to Guatemala, I saw kids with no shoes and I said I need to make a difference," Monica said.
Monica and other volunteers sorted shoes and prepared for months for this year's shoe drive, which was held last Thursday at the Dr. Kim Foot Center in Long Beach.