ABOUT HAV A SOLE

Over 7,000 pairs of shoes
Given in 13 cities
Touching 20,000 lives
In less than two years…

Hav A Sole has touched thousands of lives through, social activism, volunteering and building community.

This movement not only affects the individual receiving the shoes but develops an increased sense of social responsibility with its volunteers, giving them a global view of society and a heart for ‘giving back’ and helping others.

Hav A Sole is built upon a grassroots model of giving. Our goal is to inspire radical support from both individuals and large corporations alike. From shoes to funds, we believe giving should be sparked by inspiration, done freely, and from the heart.

We currently receive shoes, socks, time, and financial donations from our social media supporters and personal friends from all over the nation. Additionally, we have developed growing partnerships with major shoe retailers such as Nike and Saucony. Our friends at Nike alone have donated thousands of pairs of shoes through nine of their outlet stores, which would have otherwise been destroyed.

Why Sneakers?

The health of the feet is paramount in allowing homeless to get through their day while living on the streets. In January of 2012, the Journal of American Podiatric Medical Association stated that a rate of 3 out of 15 homeless people, after being assessed, had to be referred for foot problems, such as infections, painful corns and calluses. It was concluded that a good portion of these individuals who required medical care, was due to not having access to proper footwear.

The population we serve are at risk youth and the homeless. It is important to remind people that circumstance does not forfeit your humanity. It is our goal to restore confidence through impact. We give our recipients the power to choose for themselves again. Through our partners and their generous donations, we bring a retail experience offering choice of quality footwear to those in need. We have delivered shoes to The Clare Foundation, Boys and Girls Club, Covenant House, The Union Rescue Mission, Midnight Mission, Santa Monica PAL and others.

Our non-profit helps by:

  • Bringing communities together
  • Igniting inspiration to give
  • Preventing disease
  • Encouraging healthy lifestyles
  • Instilling Confidence
  • And showing that we care

Hav A Sole, 501c3 Registered Non-Profit

Hav A Sole’s mission is to provide the homeless and at risk youth population with quality footwear to encourage healthier lifestyles and prevent disease, while fostering a sense of community along the way.

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Hav A Sole Biographies

As Founder, Rikki Mendias has been the driving force behind Hav A Sole and has been involved in every aspect of its development. He is responsible for product collection, domestic distribution, national travel, organizing events and developing strategic partnerships within the community.

As a young boy, Rikki, spent over five years in a shelter so he knows what’s it feels like to go without. His mother, who was struggling to make ends meet, couldn’t afford to buy him a pair of much needed shoes. One day, a former resident spoke at the shelter and afterwards, offered to buy him two pairs of new shoes. Rikki never forgot her kindness and the confidence that came with it. However, due to his early deprivation, Rikki later tried to collect sneakers in every style, color and brand imaginable. His sneaker obsession continued until his early thirties, when Rikki, who was now a fashion photographer found none of it held the same satisfaction that it once had. In fact, it felt meaningless.

It was during this time that Rikki realized that he had more shoes than he could ever wear and decided to give some of them away to those in need. Driving the streets of Los Angeles, Rikki found a man sleeping on the streets and gave out his first pair. Afterward, he posted a before and after picture of the shoes on social media. People were inspired and offered to send their extra shoes as well. Thus, Hav A Sole was born and since then he has given away over seven thousand pairs of shoes to shelters, at-risk youth and those in need.

Today, if you ask Rikki what he has learned from Hav A Sole, he says, “I get more from giving out one pair of shoes than I ever did from owning a hundred.”

While Dash was growing up in Los Angeles, being of service was ingrained in him from a very early age. So when his best friend, Rikki Mendias, approached him, Dash said it was a no-brainer because everything the organization was doing fit right into his core beliefs.

After working at Home Depot for seven years, Dash got a job as a costumer, which he still does today. So Dash knows how important it is to have a comfortable pair of shoes. But there is something extremely satisfying when he is able to fit someone living on the streets with a new pair.

Dash has been there since the beginning of Hav A Sole and plays a key roll in the day-to-day operations. While doing both community outreach and coordinating events, Dash brings a special warmth to the individuals we meet, making them feel right at ease.

“It’s rough out there,” Dash said, “And a little kindness goes a long way.”

Nothing quite demonstrates Dash’s compassion more than when Hav A Sole delivered shoes to kids on skid row for Christmas. Just about ready to call it a wrap, when a young boy came in late. Unfortunately, there was nothing left in his size. Seeing the look of disappointment in his eyes, Dash promptly took off his own Jordon’s and gave them to the young man while Dash went home in socks.

A seasoned professional, Wendy Adamson is a certified drug and alcohol counselor, who not only possesses a comprehensive understanding of addiction but the recovery process as well. With over twenty-two years of personal recovery, Wendy is an excellent communicator with an easy demeanor that translates across a multitude of settings.

Already a dedicated philanthropist, Wendy was instrumental in directing the vision of Hav A Sole. Implementing marketing strategies, executing outreach and building relationships within the community, in just two years, Hav A Sole has become a thriving organization.

With a passion for writing, Wendy has had multiple articles published in Huffington Post, Singular Magazine and the Santa Monica Mirror and currently, she is working on a book.

Hav A Sole Board of Directors

  • Geoff Farr – GSF Agency
  • Roberta Berthhold – Gem Mortgage
  • Leanza Cornett – Miss America (1993)
  • Gigi Davis – Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce
  • Cathi Carlton – Cathi Carlton Casting