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Volunteers Distribute 5,000 Pairs of Sneakers To Homeless in Center City

(Students from Pine Forge Academy sort sneakers given away to the homeless in Philadelphia's Love Park on Thursday.  Photo by Mark Abrams)

(Students from Pine Forge Academy sort sneakers given away to the homeless in Philadelphia’s Love Park on Thursday. Photo by Mark Abrams)

Mark Abrams Mark Abrams
Mark Abrams is a versatile part of the KYW Newsradio family, serving...
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By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Volunteers from New York, Philadelphia, and the suburbs delivered something for the “soles” of the homeless on Thursday.

Led by New York-based “It’s from the Sole,” founder Andre McDonnell partnered with Whimsicle Popsicle’s Salim Weldon to collect and distribute sneakers for the homeless.

Weldon says donations produced quite a bonanza.

“We’re passing out 5,000 pairs of sneakers to the less fortunate and the homeless. Brand-new sneakers and gently used sneakers,” Weldon said.

McDonnell says his organization decided to bring the effort to Philadelphia after speaking with Weldon.

“We figured since we love fashion, let’s give fashion to the less fortunate people of Philadelphia,” McDonnell said.

Students from Pine Forge Academy in Berks County traveled to Love Park in Center City to help sort the sneakers by size and put them up on tables for pick-up by the homeless.

Amurri Lauren of the WKND Academy helped spread the word about the sneaker giveaway among the homeless shelters and by way of social media.

She says it’s satisfying to see what a new pair of sneaks does for someone in need.

“Very encouraging, very encouraging to walk a new path in life,” Lauren said.

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