Fred Jordan Missions gives kids free shoes, school supplies

SKID ROW, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- More than 4,000 underprivileged kids received free athletic shoes, clothing and backpacks filled with school supplies at Fred Jordan Missions' back-to-school giveaway on Skid Row Thursday.

The event began at 9 a.m. at the mission at 445 Towne Avenue. Families began lining up as early as Wednesday.

Attendees enjoyed free burgers from In-N-Out, and children were able to get their hair cut and styled by Paul Mitchell hairdressers.

Thanks to Foot Locker, organizers say many children received their first brand new pair of athletic shoes ever.

The event is a partnership between Fred Jordan Missions and Foot Locker. The giveaway has provided more than 135,000 children with new athletic shoes since it launched 27 years ago.

Willie Jordan's husband started the Mission in 1944. She says she's been volunteering on the streets of Skid Row since she was 14 years old, the age of some of her young guests.

"This may be my idea, [but ] I don't make it happen. It's these caring corporations and thousands of individuals. I just get the fun of being in the middle and watching it happen," she said. "You can never give too much to someone in need."
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