A college athlete from Indiana who is traveling the country and helping the homeless stopped by Hartford on Monday to make a difference.
For 23-year old Keaton Hendricks, a basketball player and business school student, a box of socks is a sign that the sky is the limit.
“Sky Footwear, our mission is to really inspire hope into the lives of the homeless,” Hendricks, the founder of Sky Footwear, said.
The college senior is traveling to places such as Hartford Rescue Mission and Rev. Gregg Woods, executive director of the shelter, said he never expected to get a donation quite like this.
“What a call … you want socks? Yeah, I'll take socks. Definitely so,” Woods said.
The donation was a surprise, since Hendricks is a senior at Taylor University in Indiana.
That’s where this story really begins.
“This is out of our dorm room so. We have 7,000 pairs of socks that we pile high to the ceiling,” Hendricks said.
The business major was challenged in class to come up with an idea like one you’d see on Shark Tank, the show in which inventors pitch business and product ideas to investors in the hopes of securing interest and funding.
“From my experience volunteering at homeless shelters, we knew that socks are the number one requested item from homeless shelters and so, I also knew that socks were a huge trend,” Hendricks said.
Therefore, he decided to pair the need and trend together with Sky Footwear.
Hendricks and a friend created a buy one, give one business. He said that for every pair of socks that people buy, another pair is donated to a homeless shelter.
“Our goal is to help supply every homeless shelter in the U.S. with socks,” Hendricks said.
The business has been running for one year and, so far, Hendricks has donated to 12 shelters. The total donation in Hartford depends on how many socks are sold during the month of August.
As of Monday, Aug. 21 Hendricks expected the total donation to be around 400 pairs of socks.
Rev. Woods said receiving a gift like this, especially from a student, has a greater meaning. Small steps, in socks, healing the soul of a community.
“That really is the root of what humanity is about,” Woods said.
If you would like to buy a pair of socks and, in turn, give a pair of socks to the Hartford Rescue Mission, head to Sky Footwear’s website and order before the end of the month.