1,000 pairs of new shoes donated to less fortunate Salt Lake residents

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To put themselves in the shoes of the less fortunate, four organizations have put together a charity project donating necessities to impoverished Utah residents.

Halogen TV and Soles4Souls teamed up with Comcast and Real Salt Lake to donate $20,000 worth of new shoes to less fortunate Salt Lake locals at an event at the Road Home on Nov. 10. This event was part two of the whole project these organizations have been putting together.

The first part began in October when the four started a drive to collect used shoes, which continues through the end of 2011.

Ray Child, director of public relations for Comcast in Utah, said the company contacted Halogen TV when they heard of their shoe donation initiative with Soles4Souls.

“When we became aware of Soles4Souls initiative, we were very excited to invite them to come to Utah and see if we could not only donate these new shoes, but meet the goal of having 20,000 used shoes donated also between now and the end of this year,” Child said.

Many volunteered at the event to assist hundreds of children and adults who came to receive new shoes to prepare for the winter season, Child said. A total of 1,000 new shoes were dispersed between five different charities.

Christine Rodocker, marketing representative for Halogen TV, said the event turned out better than anticipated.

“A lot of what we do is about business and I think what was so great about this event was being able to give back to the people and see it make such a difference in their lives,” Rodocker said.

Rodocker said a particular woman who received a pair of new shoes was emotional expressing her gratitude.

“We had one lady on the verge of tears who said, ‘I haven’t had a pair of shoes that have fit me in two years,'” Rodocker said. “For a lot of us that’s not an issue; you take a pair of shoes for granted. But for somebody who doesn’t have them it seems like such a small thing that makes such a huge difference.”

Along with Comcast, Halogen TV and Soles4Souls employees, Real Salt Lake player Chris Agorsor attended the event. Agorsor said he is encouraged by the amount of support the players receive from the locals and he was glad to be able to give back.

“The fact that I got to go back and help out that same community who is in the stands every Saturday when we have home games is pretty awesome,” Agorsor said. “The people here have something pretty unique about them, so anytime we, the players, get a chance to connect with [fans] on a more human level is a really cool thing.”

Although the event is over, these organizations are still looking to the public for used shoe donations. Drop locations can be found at malls and other businesses in Salt Lake County until Dec. 31. More information on the project and drop locations can be found at shoes4slc.com.

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