Sneaker bosses bring old shoes back to life to help families in South Auckland

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Talanoa

Sneaker Clean NZ helps young people in South Auckland by cleaning donated shoes and distributing them to the community. Photo / Provided

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Youngsters in South Auckland are set to benefit from the country’s first sneaker donation event which kicks off this weekend.

Outsole is a free event launched by Sneaker Clean NZ Ltd – a shoe cleaning service which funds a charitable trust known as Clean For A Cause – and helps the local community affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sneaker Clean NZ owner and organizer Christian Prescott said the company launched the Trust during lockdown last year to give back to the South Auckland community.

“The idea started by being written on our whiteboard in October 2021. Then 12 weeks later we received a great response and were able to clean, pack and donate 500 pairs of shoes to our young rangatahi in need.”

Prescott and his company have shortlists of names and shoe sizes of students from several areas in South Auckland who could be positively impacted by this cause.

They received more than 1,000 names – making a community gathering like this all the more necessary, he said.

Sneaker Clean NZ helps young people in South Auckland by cleaning donated shoes and distributing them to the community.  Photo / Provided
Sneaker Clean NZ helps young people in South Auckland by cleaning donated shoes and distributing them to the community. Photo / Provided

Prescott and his team pack each newly cleaned shoe in a custom box before giving them away. He said he understood the importance of this particular detail.

“The story behind putting the shoes in the box is that some of our kids don’t really get their own sneakers.

“They miss that feeling we all know and love of opening a new pair of shoes,” he said.

“There will be paper in the shoes and paper around (them) when they open them. We will do all of this for them.”

By the community, for the community

They will be hosting a four-hour event where members of the public can donate sneakers in any condition to be properly cleaned, wrapped and placed in a custom box.

All donated pairs of shoes will be donated to children in South Auckland who need them.

They will collaborate with Mana Pasifika, who helps Pacific communities in Aotearoa during and after the Covid-19 closures.

Sneaker Clean NZ cleans top quality shoes before offering them to young people in South Auckland.  Photo / Provided
Sneaker Clean NZ cleans top quality shoes before offering them to young people in South Auckland. Photo / Provided

For the past eight months, Clean For A Cause has been accepting shoe donations in its store. However, tomorrow’s concert will be their first major event.

At Outsole you will not only be able to see the products and disciplines needed to clean shoes. But sneakerheads will also be able to sell, trade and buy other sneakers on display.

“It’s a way for us to not only promote charity, but to unite the community through the sneakers,” Prescott said.

“You will be able to see my staff cleaning shoes live, there will be sneaker and vintage clothing stores, food trucks, barbershops and a DJ playing all the time.

Tomorrow’s event and the Trust involved are self-funded by Sneaker Clean NZ Ltd.

Prescott hopes the event will allow them to involve the right people and secure private or public funding to help young people in this way.

“On that day, it will be cool to see a big gathering to support our young rangatahi and whānau who need sneakers. I’m thrilled to unite the community by supporting such a great cause.”

The Outsole takes place tomorrow from 10am-2pm at the BNZ Theater at the Vodafone Events Center on Great South R, Wiri, in Manukau and all proceeds will go to Clean For A Cause Trust.

For more information, visit Outsole.


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