One man is on a mission to give homeless New Yorkers the footwear they deserve

It’s From The Sole (IFTS) is one hell of a movement founded to restore dignity through fashion, one step at a time!

Started by Andre McDonnell in 2012, IFTS distributes donated new and refreshed sneakers and socks to New York City’s homeless.

The movement began after a chance encounter by Andre in SoHo with a barefoot homeless man. Overwhelmed with emotion, McDonnell approached the man and offered him his own pair of sneakers, which the man gratefully took. Since then, McDonnell and his IFTS team of volunteers have distributed more than 8,000 pairs of sneakers to needy people in New York.

This is one of the greatest New York organisations I’ve come across and I’m definitely going to do all I can to help Andre and his team out. Want to help too? Check out It’s From The Sole here and follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Thank you to @cash_el_jefe @prancelo247 @fab40mum @mike.hassell @Cocbrownin @Caleyjojomom as we walked around NYC and helped the homeless. We all have Its From The Sole in US. Just have to bring it out. #helpingthehomeless #itsfromthesole #givingback #42street #adidas #adidasoriginals

A video posted by It’s From The Sole (@itsfromthesole) on

I get the best feeling in the world when I’m able to explain to a person who ask “why are you giving me sneakers?”. To be able to respond “to make sure you are walking more comfortably than you are.” gives the sense of humanity and acceptance. That’s what we are and its from the sole #helpingthehomeless #givingback #spreadlove #itsfromthesole #nike

A photo posted by It’s From The Sole (@itsfromthesole) on

Nothing but smiles and appreciation. REMINDER women’s sizes are just as valuable to us as men’s. There is a large homeless women population in NYC, so keep those donations coming so we can continue to lace them up! #itsfromthesole #helpingothers #nychomeless #nyc

A photo posted by It’s From The Sole (@itsfromthesole) on

Great shot of an awesome connection made this weekend with our new friend Patrick. At IFTS, we are always happy to assist anyone in anyway we can. #itsfromthesole #makeadifference #helpingthehomeless #spreadlove

A photo posted by It’s From The Sole (@itsfromthesole) on

This past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting Joel. Joel a retired war veteran, who has clearly been down on his luck for awhile now was wearing a pair of beat up and worn down dress shoes as his daily and only pair. When we initially started talking he said that he wore a size 13. Telling him all I had was a size 11.5 he said that he would try it out. Usually we are hesitant to give away sneakers that are so far off in size but something told me that day to do it anyways. In some cases because it has been so long since our clients have had a real pair of sneakers, they often forget what there true size is. Although they didn’t fit perfectly he absolutely loved them and couldn’t have been more excited to put on his pair of brand new GEL lyte 3s. The connection between Joel and I was truly special. After we exchanged the shoes we then talked for a good 10 minutes just about life in general and how much this meant to him. This is what we do it for, these connections are priceless. #spreadlove #itsfromthesole #helpingthehomeless #makingadifference

A photo posted by It’s From The Sole (@itsfromthesole) on

About the author

Rachel Oakley is an Aussie writer based in NYC with an obsession for the creepy, cool and quirky side of life. She’ll remind you she’s a vegan every chance she gets. Her IG is filled with doggo pics: @patty_pottymouth