How One Sneakerhead Became a Sneaker Saint [VIDEO]

Hav a Sole puts Los Angeles' homeless in a new set of sneakers

Apr 10, 2017

Rikki Mendias loves shoes and perfectly understands the excitement one feels when getting a brand new pair of sneakers. Today, if Mendias wants new shoes he can simply go out and buy a pair, but that hasn’t always been the case. As a young boy Mendias spent years in a shelter with his mother where the two could barely afford even the most basic items.

One day a former resident saw that he had holes in the bottom of his sneakers and took him to a store buy two new pairs. Mendias never forgot this act of kindness and the feeling he got from having new kicks, spawned an insatiable need in him to collect shoes. Years later he found himself the proud owner of over 150 pairs of sneakers and suddenly realized that while he had more shoes than he knew what to do with, there were people out there who had none.

Mendias loaded his car full of shoes and looked for people who were in need of new shoes. After posting a few picture son social media, many of his followers began sending in tennis shoes from all over the country, and that’s how Hav A Sole was born. Medias founded the non-profit in 2014 to give quality sneakers to at-risk kids so they could choose the shoes they wanted to wear instead of just receiving generic boring models.

Since then, Hav A Sole has succeeded to give out over 7,000 pairs of sneakers with the help of donations from all over the world. The simple act of kindness Medias received as a child gave him the confidence to believe that he was destined for more and his unceasing efforts are ensuring that the goodness he experienced is being passed on thousandfold.

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DAVID RUHM, EDITOR & WRITER
David has a passion for languages and words, and loves to see people happy. He writes about inspiring ideas, amazing technologies and all the wonders of the world.

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