Lincoln’s Cornhusker Bank kicks off 11th Annual “One Day Without Shoes”

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 6:52 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Dozens in Lincoln came together for the 11th Annual “One Day Without Shoes.” The initiative raises awareness for the hundreds of people experiencing homelessness in the Capital City.

For many the People’s City Mission serves, their main means of transportation is walking. That’s why Cornhusker Bank started this initiative back in 2011 to help take care of those most vulnerable. The campaign was first inspired by TOMS, the shoe company that donates shoes to a child in need every time a pair is sold. Leaders with Cornhusker Bank wanted a way to bring help like that to the Capital City. It’s 11 years later and donations are rolling in more than ever.

People walked miles up and down O Street, wrapping up at 68th and P at the People’s City Mission’s Help Center. This past year, Cornhusker Bank set up more than 150 drop-off sites for people to donate shoes. The total as of now is 20,000 pairs which will be distributed to Lincoln’s homeless population.

The mission’s CEO, Pastor Tom Barber says even though giving away a pair of shoes seems like a small gesture, it goes a long way when you look at who they’re helping.

“Many of our guests don’t have cars. Many of the people that we serve have to walk around. So, shoes are very important to them, and in many cases, they don’t have good shoes. They have to get shoes that are sometimes hand-me-downs that are used. They might be bad. They may not fit,” said Pastor Tom.

Pastor Tom took on Tuesday’s walk in only his socks, which he says isn’t out of the norm for people experiencing homelessness.

Businesses, churches and schools have all pitched in to donate and collect shoes. Since One Day Without Shoes Started, the people of Lincoln have donated nearly 190,000 pairs of shoes and helped raise more than $87,000.

Twenty-thousand pairs have already been donated in 2021, and organizers are sure they’ll top 200,000 pairs since the campaign’s start more than a decade ago.

Even though the walk is one day and shoes are collected over a week, organizers say these donations continue making an ever-lasting impact on one of Lincoln’s most vulnerable communities.

“When they don’t have a good pair of shoes to walk to places, that can be tough. For a job interview or think about kids. Kids that go to school that maybe don’t have shoes that fit them appropriately or look nice,” said Carissa Bullock, Vice President of marketing for Cornhusker Bank.

All Cornhusker Bank locations and more than 150 sites are still accepting drop offs until Saturday, April 17th. For a list of all donation sites, CLICK HERE.

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