Boyle Heights woman hands out 5,000 pairs of shoes to those in need in greater East LA area

BOYLE HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A Boyle Heights woman is on a mission to put shoes on everyone's feet, especially those in need in the greater East Los Angeles area.

"We got 5,000 pairs of shoes from Toms shoe company," said Toni Juarez, a community leader.

Juarez is part of a community group that wrote letters to companies asking for donations and heard back from Toms.

"People normally say, 'I'll send you like a thousand' and they'll send you like 200," Juarez said. "So, I was thinking something like that. But when we actually saw 5,000, I was like what do we do now?"

Juarez received the shoes in August, and four weeks later, she finished handing out every pair.

"We asked for donations for our Christmas parade. We got it before," Juarez said. "They asked us to go ahead and hand them out to the community and then we'll get some other ones for Christmas."

Nike also plans to donate shoes for the community, Juarez said.

"Right now, how we're situated, the shoes are a big help for the kids and more because my kid is in school," said the Juarez family in Spanish, who received shoes for the family.

As the donations come in, Juarez will continue to distribute them with the help of community volunteers.

"It's a blessing because you don't see this everywhere," said Sandra Lopez, a Boyle Heights resident who received shoes.
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