The following story was sent to Dr. Diamond by a 13 year old girl who was inspired to collect shoes for the homeless: In the photo is a man giving his flip flops to a homeless gentleman without shoes.
I am now 13 years old and for my Mitzvah project, I wanted to do something to help the homeless in Los Angeles. I see a lot of homeless people in our community every day, and one day recently I had an experience that made me really sad. My sister and I were driving through Larchmont Village in Los Angeles and we noticed a homeless man who was missing one arm, had no shoes, and was struggling to keep his pants from falling down. Then a total stranger stopped him, took off his own flip flops, gave them to the homeless man and then walked away barefoot. That act of kindness really touched my heart. I started to think how can I help? Would I ever take off my own shoes and give it to a less fortunate person? We went home and told our parents this story. Then my mom and I started googling ways to provide shoes to the homeless, which is how we found Shoes for the Homeless, Inc. or (SFTH). This non-denominational, non-profit/501(c)(3) organization collects, processes, and distributes shoes, free of charge, to the homeless and those in need right here in Los Angeles. Dr. Ira Diamond is a podiatrist who has been treating homeless individuals and those in need for over 25 years in the Greater Los Angeles area. Throughout his career, he has seen the many types of foot problems that develop when individuals who have no shoes at all. In 2011 he officially founded SHOES FOR THE HOMELESS, Inc. I truly find Dr. Diamond’s cause very inspirational, because everyone deserves to have shoes. I began my project by collecting lots of shoes from family and friends, starting with collecting a whole bunch right in my own home! I contacted my local middle school and high school, and they have all agreed to place collection bins on school property and send out an email to their communities asking for shoe donations for my project. Lastly, I have also set up a collection bin at my Dad’s office. My goal is to collect as many shoes as I possibly can in order to help those less fortunate in our community. I encourage everyone to join me in collecting shoes for the homeless. Please donate!
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