ABOUT Hav A Sole

 In four years over 13,000 pairs of shoes
given out in 20 cities
while touching thousands of lives

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

Our movement not only affects the individual who receives the shoes but it increases a sense of social responsibility with its young volunteers offering them a way to get involved in their community. Built upon a grassroots model, Hav A Sole’s goal for 2019 is to double our efforts so we can increase the amount of shoes given out and touch even more lives. While we receive support from friends from all over the nation, we are especially grateful for the support of ten local Nike outlets who have donated thousands of  shoes so the Hav A Sole team could deliver them to homeless individuals and at risk youth.

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.

Donate Your New or Gently Worn Sneakers To Those In Need


Hav A Sole Biographies

Rikki MendiasAs 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 Vans. Rikki never forgot that women’s kindness or the confidence that came from having a fresh pair of sneakers to where to school. However, due to his early deprivation, Rikki later started collecting sneakers in every style, color and brand imaginable. His sneaker obsession continued until his early thirties, when he was a fashion photographer and found his life felt meaningless to him.

One night Rikki, realizing he had more shoes than he needed decided to give some of his collection away.  The next day he loaded up the back of his car with shoes and drove the streets of Los Angeles, until he found someone who could benefit from a quality pair of shoes. Afterward, he asked the recipient if he could take a before and after photograph which he posted on social media. Friends all over the country were inspired and offered to send their extra shoes to him as well. Thus, Hav A Sole was born and in ten years we have given out over ten thousand pairs of shoes to shelters, at-risk youth and to those in need.

If you were to ask Rikki today what he has learned from Hav A Sole, he will tell you, “I get more from giving a pair of shoes than I ever did from owning hundreds.”

Wendy AdamsonWendy Adamson is a Clinical Marketing Manager for Polaris Teen Center, a facility that provides treatment for adolescents dealing with mental health issues. Wendy brings years of experience to Hav A Sole where she continues to be instrumental in helping guide her son’s vision by implementing marketing strategies, executing outreach and building relationships within the community. Wendy is also a gifted writer, with numerous articles in the Huffington Post, Santa Monica Mirror and other publications in effort to get Hav A Sole’s message to the public.

Dash PenlandDash Penland, who learned from a very early age to be of service found the Hav A Sole mission to easily aligned with his core beliefs. As a wardrobe stylist in the entertainment industry, Dash knows how important it is to have a comfortable pair of shoes, but fitting someone who is living on the streets in a new pair is much more rewarding for him.   Dash has volunteered his time and services to Hav A Sole since day one. As Development Manager, Dash plays a key roll in Hav A Sole’s day-to-day operations, however, it’s his warmth that make the people we meet feel so at ease.

Brennan Decker HeadshotBrennan Decker has 15 years of experience in specialty athletic footwear retail. In his roles he has lead high performing teams as well as designed and implemented digital tools utilizing low cost technology to collect, analyze, and communicate data. His tools been deployed organizationally to increase productivity, decrease expenses and improve both decision-making speed and accuracy. He has also served as project manager for multiple projects ranging from senior leadership development, rebranding their field talent acquisition team, to developing training tools to impact their diversity and inclusion. As Director of Digital Strategy for Hav A Sole Brennan guides the strategic direction of our Digital touch points ranging for our social media outlets to website as well as the digital resources that are utilized internally.

Hav A Sole Board of Directors

  • Rikki Mendias          Executive Director
  • Cathi Carlton            Board Chair
  • Eric Weinberger       Co-Chair
  • Jennifer Jackson     Secretary
  • Dana Mason             Treasurer
  • Gregory Butler          Board Member
  • Ed Barnett                 Board Member
  • Dash Penland           Board Member
  • Brennan Decker       Board Member
  • Camille Boothe        Board Member