2012 gave birth to an entity geared toward accomplishing a respectable cause. Too often do we, as the able’d, take for granted the pleasures that many members of our society are unable to partake in. It is the simplicity within our character that make us forget how much simpler life can be for another. However, it is the character within our true nature that allows us to realize when a need needs to be met. And as members of one society we are responsible, at the very least, to offer our excess to those who are facing any amount of scarcity.
Kicks 4 The City is a charitable organization uprooted in St. Louis, MO by founder Justin Johnson. The journey began the day Justin crossed paths with a homeless man named Montrell, who was walking the streets with shoes too damaged to protect his feet. After multiple meetings between the two, they both gained a mutual respect for one another, and the relationship laid the groundwork for a philanthropic platform for years to come. Initially, Justin pitched the idea of gathering lightly used and new shoes to a few colleagues in his circle. Before they knew it, K4tC was on its way to becoming an essential part of many communities around the States.
In 2012, Kicks 4 The City collected 500 pairs of shoes for three shelters in St. Louis. The following year the organization expanded to both Chicago and North Carolina, and between the three locations, collected 1,500 pairs of shoes. In 2014 the team expanded into Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Washington DC, collecting more than 5,000 pairs of shoes for the less fortunate members of each community. The last official Kicks 4 The City Shoe Drive commenced in 2015 when the team touched down in both Detroit and New York for a grand total of 8 cities, resulting in 15,000 pairs of shoes acquired for those in need. With a rapidly growing reputation and having an immense impact in various cities, K4tC landed a partnership with The Athlete’s Foot brand in order to further serve local communities in an attempt to change peoples lives, two feet at a time.
The Agora Sneakerball
Of course, great accomplishments must be seen as such and should always bring about the gift of celebration. To be an ingrained part of a societal need gives life to all those involved. On May 21st, 2016, K4tC hosted a charitable gala called the Agora Sneakerball in the West Loop of Chicago. The Agora Sneakerball is an event to where all the hard work of the volunteers and team members can enjoy unwinding amongst like minds. It encourages members of different groups to come together as one unit to celebrate the progress of their visions, and also connect with one another towards a similar goal. It allows all those in attendance to tackle both sides of the coin pertaining to charitable efforts and the mere love of sneakers alike. Although CUTS was not in the building for the Agora Sneakerball, it seems to have been an enjoyable experience just by swiping through the photos, and living vicariously through all of the smiles and style the event had to offer. [more pictures below]
A special thanks to the homie Bryan Lamar for bringing this amazing entity to our attention, and also to Justin’s go-to colleague and avid supporter Ms Christina Colon, for furthering that introduction and explaining more about K4tC to us. A trip to Chicago is well in order, and who knows, K4tC may very well be in Seattle sooner than you think.