BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Orlie's Shoe Drive is a nonprofit that donates shoes to children in need at schools and shelters all throughout Kern County. Last year, they were able to donate 600 pairs of shoes. This year, they hope to get a headstart and donate even more by holding a Christmas in July 5K run and walk.
The event kicked off Saturday morning at the Valley Plaza Church on Olive Drive.
Runners showed up at 8 a.m. to register for the run, which kicked off at 9. There are also water games, a dunk tank, and food trucks for everyone to go out and enjoy.
The event was organized by Alex and Nicole Vigil, the minds behind Orlie's Shoe Drive. Orlie was Alex's father. Alex said they started the nonprofit because his father always gave them shoes for Christmas and it wasn't until after his dad died a few years ago that his mom told them why.
"It wasn't until after he was gone that we found out the reason was because he didn't have shoes growing up," Alex said. "So he used to put cardboard in his shoes and we thought what a great way to spread some Christmas cheer and honor his legacy."
Along with the donations accepted today, Alex and Nicole will also be taking shoes to donate to the Bakersfield Homeless Shelter immediately after the event.