In partnership with Laughter Is The Cure, a non-profit based in Ferndale that believes community service should be fun, Walk Together Detroit was created to collect donated shoes from people all across metro Detroit. Thanks to Sam Silverstein and Jeremy Paczos, the two young guys behind Laughter Is The Cure, 936 pairs of shoes were collected from generous donors which were received by Matrix Human Services to be distributed to those in need.
So how did Sam and Jeremy come up with this idea?
Sam: “…Honestly it’s like we don’t necessarily have like a huge heart pulling story behind it, which is kind of like the whole idea behind our organization that we feel you don’t need an in-depth, crazy story of ya know ‘I didn’t have shoes growing up, or I wanted to give people shoes’ it was that we saw a need for something and we wanted to fill that void.”
Jeremy: “Shoes are just a very basic necessity and they are an expensive thing if you can’t afford them. It’s tough to get a good pair of shoes to present yourself, maybe to get that job, or to go somewhere where ya know, you need to be looking good.”
Once they decided on shoes, the next step was to get some people to donate whatever shoes they didn’t need!
Their plan was pretty simple. They created a flyer that they spread throughout their social networks. People who saw it could fill out the Google form with their address for picking up the shoes, and when pickup day came around, Sam, Jeremy, and a small crew drove around with a U-haul and collected them.
From there, they just needed to decide which organization would be best to distribute them.
Sam: “So we just kinda were Googling, honestly we were looking up a bunch of different organizations, sent out a bunch of emails, had a bunch of calls, we ultimately felt that Matrix was the best fit because of what they’ve done for the community and what they strive to do. We just felt there was a lot of opportunity that the shoes would end up on someone’s feet who needs them.”
Matrix was more than happy to receive the shoes which are now being distributed every Tuesday at The Matrix Center on 13560 E McNichols Rd.
Already, the shoes have helped some members of the community in need, including Ms. Sheila B.
“I come here because they (The Matrix Center) give out good shoes. I use the shoes, me and my daughter, we wear them at the Breast Cancer Walk, the pink ones, for next week. I’m a two time breast cancer survivor and I like the donations you guys give out and continue to do so and bless the community.”