By: Joanna Hanson
At the beginning of this summer of 2012 a group of 20 kids and teens, based mostly out of Southern California, calling themselves the Shoe Crew started a movement to clothe the feet of under-privileged youth. By the end of the summer the Shoe Crew hoped to fill a warehouse with brand new athletic shoes and distribute them to the children in need, saving kids the discomfort and pain of having to go to school this fall wearing shoes that don’t fit.
The shoe crew, made up of an inspiring group of young people, was founded by 16-year-old Kayla Tinucci who has dedicated more than just her summer to helping the youth around her who would otherwise go without.
Inspired by A Place Called Home’s the Cinderella and Prince Charming Project Kayla joined forces with her brother, Justin, and a group of friends to host an event to collect Prom attire for graduating seniors who would otherwise lose out on the opportunity to enjoy their Senior Prom. With the success of the project and over 400 pieces of formal wear collected by the event Kayla realized the potential to help her fellow youth beyond a single event. Kayla and Justin formed a group of tightly knit compassionate youth who were willing to dedicate their summer and their efforts to changing the tread of their fellow youth, thus creating the Shoe Crew.
This group of like minded young people is made up of young actors, actresses and teenage entrepreneurs who have applied their talents to making this summer one that counts. 11 events were planned throughout the summer to collect as many shoes as possible, the ultimate goal being 2200 pairs of shoes. By the 9th event of the summer that goal had been surpassed by more than 200 pairs of shoes. The shoes donated are to be distributed amongst two organizations, Shoes That Fit and A Place Called Home.
As the summer nears an end the shoe crew has already begun distributing the shoes and has two events left, a sneaker ball and a walk-a-thon. As the Shoe Crew prepares for these final events they can celebrate a job well accomplished even as they ask for continued donations so that no child be forced to go without.
To learn how to participate in one of the Shoe Crew events or to donate online please visit the Shoe Crew website at http://theshoecrew-org.webs.