New Shoes Provided!
Uncategorized

Wholly Kicks – Press Release

Wholly Kicks - Who You Walking With?Wholly Kicks Launches December Drive on Giving Tuesday: Shoes With Soul For Those Facing
Homelessness and Economic Disparity in Aurora, Colorado
Recently Certified as a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization, Wholly Kicks Ready to Bring Comfort and Joy to
the North Aurora Community

December 3, 2019; Aurora, CO – Wholly Kicks, a non-profit organization whose presence in Aurora,
Colorado, and the Denver Metro area, exists for the purpose of “walking with” those in impoverished
areas or those at risk of or, experiencing homelessness, today announced they have been granted
official 501c3 status by the IRS, and are celebrating by launching a December donations campaign as
part of Giving Tuesday.

Established two years ago by Tyg Taylor, Wholly Kicks is foundationally committed to the belief that that
everyone deserves to have others walk with them in life and that everyone has the capacity to walk with
others. This grass-roots effort has grown to include partnerships with local schools, houses of worship,
community organizations, and other non-profits including Aurora Warms the Night.
“We are profoundly grateful to all those who have joined us on this journey to walk with and alongside
those in challenging circumstances,” Taylor said, “and are inspired by the incredible response to our
collective efforts so far to create friendships that start with the gift of new shoes and socks and continue
as we travel together with others who deserve to feel loved, to be seen, to be part of our community,
not cast out, feeling less than, discarded or damaged.”
Through the distribution of new shoes and socks, the focus of Wholly Kicks is to mentor and build
relationships in “walking with” individuals who for varied reasons, find themselves experiencing
economic disparity.

“We are fully committed to the physical, emotional and spiritual support of those experiencing
homelessness and economic disparity,” Taylor continued, and today and throughout the month of
December, we are inviting the entire Denver metro area to step up and walk with us by donating new
shoes for children, men and women, by volunteering, and by contributing so we can reach as many of
those in Aurora as need help this holiday season. We are inviting individuals, families, businesses,
community groups, schools, faith-based organizations and all who wish to bring joy to join us in walking
the walk.”

The diverse, central Aurora community serves as the initial focus of Wholly Kicks. The neighborhoods in
Aurora are diverse (racial, ethnic and religious) and home to a large population of refugees. Compared
to other Colorado communities, Aurora has a significant population of people experiencing
homelessness and economic disparity. According to census data, Aurora has a higher proportion of
youth living in poverty compared to the country, the city of Denver and state of Colorado.
The practice of providing shoes and walking with people experiencing homelessness began many years
ago as a missional community of a local church in Monument, CO. For over three years, countless volunteers and families have gone to the America the Beautiful park in Colorado Springs, CO. Every
Monday, a group of people brought a large batch of Macaroni and Cheese and instead of serving “to”,
the volunteers sat with the people and listened to their stories, enjoying the meal alongside the people
living in the park. The consistency of relationship helped build trust and a sense of belonging and
community in the America the Beautiful Park.

On an ad-hoc basis, the Macaroni Monday team and Tyg Taylor provided new shoes, sleeping bags, and
the like. The new shoes brought a profound sense of pride and wholeness for those experiencing
homelessness especially when accompanied with a true connection with the volunteers.
Taylor moved from Colorado Springs to Aurora to serve the community within the community – a
community he identified as one with the most economic disparity and challenges.
“Over and over again, we are witnessing small transformations realized through the experience of truly
walking with others,” Taylor said. “Misconceptions are being broken through the building of consistent
connections, opening up so many to deeper services to address their needs both acutely and longer
term. We can expand and serve with the help of people across Denver, across Colorado and across the
United States and continue to make an even greater difference not only in the lives of those who receive
the shoes, but those who make those gifts possible.”

New shoe donations have been collected from individuals, churches, groups and others. The shoes fulfill
a critical need, supporting health of the body.

Earlier this year, Wholly Kicks worked with Aurora Interfaith Community Services to distribute shoes to
clients experiencing economic hardships who came to access the neighborhood food pantry. Wholly
Kicks works hard at such events to move from simply handing out new shoes, to engaging with clients to
hear life stories and build deeper relationships with those in need.

In September, Wholly Kicks began working with a neighborhood congregation, Saint Mark’s Lutheran
Church, to gather 100 pair of children’s shoes that were distributed to their local Title 1 elementary
school in Aurora. This congregation, of mostly senior adults, is partnering with the younger families of
the community to breach the gap of age and economic disparity.

Wholly Kicks trains and equip volunteers to “walk with” those they serve by listening to a person’s
unique and whole story and overtime encouraging those who receive the shoes to walk with, encourage
and empower others in the community. As important as the actual shoes is the connection, being
listened to, being valued, being accepted as a whole and beautiful person.
With time, Wholly Kicks envisions expanding beyond Aurora into the Colorado front range community.
Given the intimacy of “walking with” people such an expansion would require appropriate partnerships,
additional staff, training and support.

For more information, please visit www.whollykicks.org or contact Tyg Taylor:
Email: tyg@whollykicks.org