Shoes stacked up in the House of Soles store during the first day of the event.
OKEMOS - The House of Soles held its "Kicks For The Community" event on Aug. 6 and 7, where members of the community could donate new and slightly used shoes to those in need.
Many community members came to the event with shoes in hand and stories to tell. One gentleman brought a pair of shoes and said that they had not been worn by someone under 80 years of age.
The House of Soles partnered with Footprints of Michigan to take the donated shoes to people in need. For brand new shoes or expensive pairs of sneakers, Nadia Sellers, the mother of shop owners' Lonnie and Leonard Smith, said the store will sell those pairs and donate the money to the charity instead.
Just after the first day of the event, Sellers said they had received over 200 pairs of donated shoes.
Along with a donation box, the store had basketball, frisbee, a table for Peak Performance Physical Therapy and other activities for the community.
Sharon Richardson and her grandson Akhil Jackson attended the event on Friday and after they played some basketball and Jackson played video games with workers at House of Soles, Richardson brought her grandson back on Saturday.
House of Soles also partnered with the Meridian Police Department, with one police officer attending the event on Saturday.
"We felt that since we cater to a lot of youth," Sellers said. "That we wanted to partner with the Meridian Police Department and bring the police department and youth together."
House of Soles has many plans for the future, according to Sellers and her sons. She would like to host other community events in the future and make the "Kicks for the Community" event an annual event.
For Lonnie and Leonard Smith, their next step is finishing their senior year of high school and then college, but they said they want to apply their college education to the House of Soles.
"I just know we have the rest of our lives to work on this business," Leonard Smith said. "So I know I have a lot of time to work on this. So when I go to college, get my business degree, I'm going to expand on this and franchise the whole business."