Organization collects donated shoes for those in need - WNEM TV 5

Organization collects donated shoes for those in need

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An organization in Lansing is collecting and donating shoes to those who need them.

Making a difference in the community is the mission of Footprints of Michigan, a non-profit organization created to lend a helping hand to those who need a little bit of encouragement.

“I wanted to make a difference in other people’s lives,” said Geronimo Lerma, one of the volunteers.

Back in 2014, Lerma participated in a walk with Lansing’s Homeless Angels. He said with each step he realized he needed to make a change in the community.

“I noticed a young man that needed shoes desperately,” Lerma said. “They were torn and tattered and people there ended up giving the kid, they called her husband up and got the kid the shoes he needed. Just seeing the joy in his face getting a used pair of shoes and throwing the old ones away, it kinda stuck with me.”

So Lerma created Footprints of Michigan. The organization collects shoes of all kinds of shoes, and even socks, and then donates them to people who need them most.

Lerma said since it started three years ago, he and his team of volunteers have donated nearly 1,000 pairs of shoes. And this year, the focus is on homeless veterans.

“To us, it’s just a small token of our appreciation for them,” Lerma said.

David Brown has supported Lerma throughout the entire process. He said there’s nothing more rewarding than turning someone’s day around.

“I know I did my good deed for the day, I know I helped somebody out, I know I put a smile on somebody’s face,” Brown said.

The non-profit is planning to expand to help put smiles on even more faces.

“Without the wonderful community we have giving, we wouldn’t be here at this stage of where we’re at,” Lerma said.

For Lerma, there’s one thing that’s certain, he’s a big guy with an even bigger heart whose sole purpose is to make an impact in someone’s life.

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