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Soles4Souls gives shoes to needy on Skid Row

June 6, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Los Angeles Mission teamed up with a group called Soles4Souls Monday. Together they handed out hundreds of pairs of shoes to the needy on Skid Row. The giveaway is part of National Barefoot Week, giving brand-new shoes to those in need.

"We have some sneakers, we have work shoes, we have ladies' shoes and what doesn't get distributed this morning will be put into our inventory and continue to be given out over the week and months to come," said Los Angeles Mission President Herb Smith.

The line wrapped around the corner Monday in Skid Row. Hundreds of people waited for a pair of shoes, and every single person gets a pair, thanks to the Mission and Soles4Souls.

National Barefoot Week seeks to raise awareness about the need for proper footwear for the homeless.

"We try to raise awareness to everyone that there are over 300 million kids without shoes and a billion adults around the world. So coming here and handing out shoes to those in need brings awareness that this is just a small little area of people that don't have shoes," said CaCee Cobb, a spokesperson for Soles4Souls. "Imagine what it's like all around the world."

Several volunteers were on hand helping pass out the shoes donated by the shoe company Oetzi Shoes. Actor Donald Faison was among those distributing the shoes.

"That's the one thing everybody takes for granted. The first thing we send in usually is of course food and water," said Faison. "A lot of people don't know that disease can travel from the feet up."

Every box of shoes was organically made and had a pair of inserts for comfort. Soles4Souls also takes donations of gently used shoes to give to those in need.

"If anything it helps everybody just kind of, you know, get back on their feet," said Cobb.