Tag archive for "shoes"

Events, Las Vegas, Rescue Missions, Vegas

Something To Believe In…..

No Comments 17 December 2010

I drive by the homeless sleeping on a cold dark street
Like bodies in an open grave
Underneath the broken old neon sign
That used to read JESUS SAVES

A mile away live the rich folks
And I see how they’re living it up
While the poor they eat from hand to mouth
The rich drinkin’ from a golden cup

And it just makes me wonder
Why so many lose, and so few win

Song: Something To Believe In

Artist: Poison

When this song came out in 1990 I was 2 years out of high school.  Seems like only yesterday.  From the time I was 16 and could drive, my best friend and I would make sack lunches and take them to all the homeless people who congregated around City Hall in Santa Ana, Ca. and spend time talking with them listening to their stories.  My best friend, who I have known since 5th grade and still hang with today, played the guitar ever since I can remember and learned to play this song.  To us it meant something. Still does.

Fast forward to present day. I now operate a public charity that strives to help those in need, only rather than giving away sack lunches we give away shoes.  I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to work with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series and attend a great number of their events where we collect shoes from all the runners and then donate them to a local rescue mission in the city where the race is held.  Two weeks ago we attended the Zappos Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon & 1/2 where the man himself, Bret Michaels, sang this song.  To be standing there hearing this song live while we collected shoes for the homeless was beyond incredible.  Then to top it off I had the opportunity to meet Bret after the show.  While the meeting was brief, due to the line of waiting fans, mostly women of course, it was one I won’t soon forget.  He was extremely nice and very receptive to what we are doing. Hopefully, I’ll be able to take him up on his offer of being the recipient of shoes he gets from a relationship he has with a major footwear company, as well as catching another show down the road.

Thanks Bret for giving me and millions of other fans Something To Believe In!

Rockin with Bret Michaels

…And give me something to believe in
If there’s a Lord above
And give me something to believe in
Oh, Lord arise

Denver, Events

“CROC”odile Rock!

No Comments 01 November 2010

Handing out Crocs to shoe donors

The Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and 1/2 was made special thanks to the great people from Crocs! Normally we hand out Give Your Sole branded foam flip flops to those who donate their race day shoes off their feet but I knew heading into this event we were running low on our supply.  Therefore, I reached out to Crocs in hopes of them providing us with some shoes we could offer in place of the flip flops as well as create some incentive for people to donate on race day.  Crocs graciously donated 100 pairs for us to give to the first 100 people who donated the shoes off their feet.  The great thing about it was many people expressed this was the first pair of Crocs they ever owned!

The Happy 100th donor to receive a pair of Crocs!

We ran out of Crocs pretty quick as you can imagine. Even though we ran out, we gave away what flip flops we did have to those who didn’t make it in time to be one of the lucky 100. Overall for the weekend we collected 425 pairs of shoes, 50 HUGE bags of clothes we collected from the start of the race and 4 pallets of water from the great people at Competitor Group.

Race day is not only filled with incredible memories of receiving shoes from people but it is also the day we give the shoes to those who we collected them for, in this case the Denver Rescue Mission.  The Rescue Mission has a program called the New Life Rehabilitation Program and had 23 men run the race.  After the race, it was many of these same men who ran the race that picked up the shoes and clothes to take back to their fellow men and women in need.

To think that many of these men ran with the very same people who donated their shoes, yet might never meet, is pretty inspiring.  The act of giving is commendable, the act of giving knowing you will never meet the recipient is to be applauded. Congratulations to all who ran, to all who gave and to all who received….for it was many who did all three.

Rescue Runners picking up the days collection

Stay Classy Award

Inspiration

Stay Classy Award

No Comments 12 October 2010

We are excited and blessed to be nominated for a Stay Classy Award in the “Most Effective Awareness Campaign” category in four major cities: Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York.  We need your vote TODAY to help us win the $10,000 that will go to the winner.  With $10,000 equaling one-third of our budget you can see why your vote really counts! This money will help us attend more events resulting in us providing thousands of people in need with shoes.

Please go HERE to vote for us, starting with Chicago.  Then click each city tab to vote for us in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York.  Please vote in all four cities. Make sure to click “SUBMIT” at the bottom of each voting page to have your vote count.

Thank you very much for your vote and continued support!

Give Your Sole + Union Gospel Mission

Rescue Missions, Seattle, video

Give Your Sole + Union Gospel Mission

No Comments 25 September 2010

One Pair for Gina.

Chicago, Chicago, Events, Rescue Missions

One Pair for Gina.

No Comments 15 September 2010

From Left to Right: Tom Wicus, East Coast Director of Ops; My Mom; MacCallister Byrd, my older son; Me; Jackson Byrd, my youngest son; Melinda Byrd, my wife; Lindsey Nagy, GYS Board Advisor

Chicago started like any other event; me recruiting basically my whole family as volunteers to help collect shoes from all the runners and participants at the Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.  Also joining us for this event were Tom and Lindsey from New York.  The team was assembled and ready to go.  All we needed now were for the people to come through the expo and donate their shoes.  Odd thing was, the expo was strangely slow for us.  The slowest expo to date as a matter of fact. What we collected in two days we normally collect in a half a day.  Not all was lost and to better explain, let me back up a few days.

I landed in Chicago a week before the event feeling positive knowing how much Chicago loves running.  Even though Chicago loves running, I knew I had to get the word out about us being at the Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in hopes of collecting as many pairs of shoes as possible for Breakthrough Urban Ministries.  What better way to get the word out, with no marketing budget, than good ‘ole social networking! The next few nights I was a Tweeting and Facebook crazed, non-profit peddling machine.  Anytime someone mentioned #RnRCHI on Twitter I was tweeting them.  Anytime someone posted something about the event on Facebook I was replying; all in hopes of getting the word out about donating their shoes.  I am constantly amazed by the connections that can be made from such valuable social networking tools.

Tom and I with Jason and Molly Mesnick

Through using Twitter I was able to meet Jason and Molly Mesnick from The Bachelor.  They both showed immediate interest in what we were doing.  What a blessing it was to have them reach out to me and ask how they could help.  Not only did they start spreading the news to over 40k of their followers but they also offered to come work the booth for awhile on Saturday.  It was having them hang out with us at the booth and in hindsight, even though the expo was slow for us, I was glad because it gave me time to get to know Jason and Molly.  Each of them have tremendous hearts for helping others.  Jason even has his own non-profit called Project Parachute that focuses on helping single parents in America by providing childcare scholarships and establishing single parent support programs across the nation.  After spending a couple hours together with them and getting to know one another I’m sure we will be teaming up again in hopes of helping the lives of those in need.

Ending the day with only 125 pairs I wasn’t quite sure what to expect come race day and to be quite honest, I was disappointed.  That’s what’s nice about having such a supportive family and team.  They always know how to keep things positive and focus on what is being accomplished – Helping others. Whether we collect another 125 pairs on race day or one pair, the fact was, we had collected 125 pairs for people in Chicago who might not otherwise have any.

Race Day. 6 am. It’s quiet. People are gear checking their clothes across from our booth. The race begins. 8:30 am comes and all heck breaks loose! Within three hours we take in 350 pairs and run out of flip flops to give people. People were coming by the booth, tossing shoes behind us, to the sides of us, in piles! It was awesome!  Total count for three days – 475 Pairs!  The 2nd largest collection to date at one event for us.  The message was clear, our job is not to worry about when and where the shoes will come from, but to do our due diligence in the work and be ready when it happens.

After all, it was just one pair that made a difference to Gina, not 475.

Breakthrough Urban Ministries in Chicago

Chicago, Rescue Missions, video

Breakthrough Urban Ministries in Chicago

No Comments 17 December 2009


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