Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service S.Y.N.ners! We hope you have taken some time today to make the world a better, more peaceful, and unified place (we understand that can look different for each of us). There are some days and some times when reflection and action are necessary. MLK Day of Service is indeed one of those days and surely the early part of 2017 is one of those times. As the sneaker world gears up for what has become one of its biggest times of the year, NBA All-Star weekend, and enthusiasts start to salivate at all the releases being announced on the myriad of sneaker sites, podcasts, and retail connects they know we wanted to take a moment and think about how we can help those around us. We wanted to figure out how we can bring others peace and how we can make their worlds’ better.

So, in our search to not just acquire sneakers but to also give sneakers, we took to the web to find a charity that is doing impactful, spirited work around sneakers for those less fortunate and those that can use ALL of our help. We were pleasantly surprised to discover a multitude of charities that believe the feet are valuable to an individual’s ability to live and maneuver in peace and comfort. Throughout our search we learned how easy it is to help and be a part of the solution. As our search deepened we were reminded that as we seek to build, preserve, and consolidate our own sneaker collections that some of our fellow New Yorkers (according to the Coalition for the Homeless 62,840 people slept in NYC shelters in November 2016. This number does not include folks who are on the streets of the city)  struggle to maintain one pair of sneakers in their own collection. As we sat together to decide which charity we wanted to donate to and highlight in this post there were two things that were most important to us about the charity: 1. The charity’s work needed to be visible in multiple ways to us (we could do it). 2. The person or persons who started the strategy looked like us (we could do it). Representation and accessibility are important to the motivation of others. With that criteria in mind the charity we are highlighting today is “It’s from the sole”

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“It’s from the sole” was started four years ago by Andre McDonnell in New York City. Mr. McDonnell collects and distributes new and refurbished sneakers to homeless folks in New York City. “It’s from the sole” is not a large organization. Collection and distribution is done by Mr. McDonnell and a team of high school and college aged students at three different locations (Penn Station, Union Square, and Port Authority) throughout Manhattan. Mr. McDonnell and his team have delivered over 7,000 pairs of sneakers here in the city. Mr. McDonnell and his organization are inspiring and motivating and as we make our donations to his organization we hope you take a moment and a few dollars and donate to either this dope charity or a charity that is doing the work that is near and dear to your heart. We must help those around us in order to change our world as well as the world we leave behind.

Please visit the organization’s website to learn more about the work that Mr. McDonnell is doing as well as make a donation. We have hyperlinked the website several times in this post and will do so again at the end of this paragraph. If you do decide to donate use the donate button at the bottom (they use PayPal) of the site not the button at the top. At the time this post was written the donate button at the top of the page was not functioning (we did reach out via e-mail to Mr. McDonnell about the issue but have yet to receive a response). Thank you “It’s from the sole” for your amazing work and thank you all for reading and your efforts to make the world a little bit better than it was yesterday.

Stay tuned as we continue to bring you the S.Y.N (Sh*t You Need). Don’t forget to check us out on Instagram at SYNUniverse and on Tumblr at SYNUniverse.

“The time is always right to do what is right.” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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