13 Jan Local Non-Profit “iHeartyosneaks” giving back to the community one sneaker at a time
What we are finding in the world of streetwear is that not all heroes wear capes anymore. We are now seeing them in sneakers – or at least in the world of YoSneaks. iHeartYoSneaks is a non profit that is combing their passion for storytelling through sneaker culture by brining it into the community to help unite people together. They are wanting to bring philanthropy back in a “cool and innovative way.” Their goal is to find a way to connect the sneaker culture and streetwear fashion with its communities, by inspiring individuals to find the hero in themselves, one sole at a time.
Henry Mahome, the founder of iHeartYoSneaks and YoSneaks a creative production service company, finds himself nurturing his non-profit, which has been around for 5 years. In 2015, they sparked the idea to give away handmade t-shirts with a creative logo to help encourage students on college campuses to donate their gently used sneakers for youth who needed them at their local Boys and Girls Club. Mahome was entering his last year of College and wanted to find a way to give back to his community. He felt there was a niche in the market that no one at the time was attending to. The fact that it made a positive impact on the kids solidified his passion for the project.
His mission started with his friends donating about 30 pairs to a youth shelter. It quickly caught on, going from 30 donations to over 1000 donations. By combining their passion for sneakers and philanthropy, they built a team in order to host events and shoe drives around their community. In just 5 years, they have expanded into 3 cities, San Antonio, San Angelo, and Praireview and donated over 1000 pairs a sneakers to kids around Texas. Mahome is thankful for his team, who play an enormous role in maintaining the organization throughout the different cities.
Mahome says “I go hard for my nonprofit because it was built from scratch and the things that have blossomed from it makes me hungry to do more with it.”
iHeartyosneaks works alongside other nonprofits organizations, and youth programs, which help them create a running list of the children who need shoes. Being located out of Geekdom, in the heart of downtown San Antonio, they are able to connect with other organizations to better serve the community. iHeartyosneaks receive donations from various different sources. They take sneakers of all sizes, that are gently used and that can be re-worn. With each donation of the shoe the recipient receives, they are placed in iHeartyosneaks donation boxes that have an inspiring message or pictures on the box, which helps add story of the shoe. Storytelling a major part of the sneaker culture, this is an opportunity to combine two worlds together.
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