Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Shoe Giveaway in Indianapolis Benefits Hundreds

The line started forming two hours before a shoe giveaway began Monday at Wheeler Mission and eventually wrapped around the block.

For their wait, the hundreds of people received a free pair of dress or tennis shoes and a pair of flip-flops.

The giveaway kicked off the second annual National Barefoot Week from Soles4souls. Finish Line is working with Soles4Souls and service organizations in five cities this week to give away a total of 50,000 pairs of shoes. Free shoes also will be doled out in Atlanta; Birmingham, Ala.; Los Angeles; and Portland, Ore.

Steve Kerr, chief development officer at Wheeler, said the mission was on target to give away 1,200 pairs of shoes Monday. The remaining shoes, about 9,000 pairs, will be donated to local service agencies.

Despite the long wait, a homeless Andrew King, Indianapolis, was looking forward to replacing his old shoes.

"My shoes are falling apart," King said. "I think it's really nice that they're doing this. Old shoes smell, and it makes you self-conscious when you're looking for a job."

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