BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — It’s Christmas in July on Saturday, July 16, with the second annual Orlie’s Shoe Drive 5k Run/Walk.
Nicole and Alex Vigil founded the nonprofit in honor of Alex’s late father, Orlie, about six years ago.
Orlie didn’t grow up always being able to afford shoes, so as a father, he made sure his kids did.
Now, Alex and Nicole work year-round to put new pairs of shoes on the feet of children in our community.
Nicole said they had no idea it would grow into what it is today.
"It’s so exciting. I always tell people it wasn’t supposed to get this big," she said. "When we first started, it wasn't a, 'Let's grow this into some mass production of shoes for kids in Kern County.' It was just handing kids shoes at the park, but with it growing, it's exciting because we get to reach more kids in Kern County."
After Saturday's event, they’ll drop new pairs of shoes off at the homeless shelter. Their biggest distribution events are during the holiday season though, which is why they need help raising funds now.
Alex said the community’s support means a lot.
"I think it’s humbling. It’s always humbling. As it grows, [we] just get more blown away by the people that want to be involved or the mission of Orlie's Shoe Drive resonates with them," he said
”That’s what Bakersfield and Kern County [is] all about. Giving back" said Nicole.
The Christmas in July 5K starts at 9 a.m. on July 16 outside the Valley Baptist Church on Olive Drive.
Everyone gets an Orlie’s Shoe Drive water bottle, and there will be t-shirts for sale, food trucks and water activities to help you cool off.
If you can’t attend, you can donate to their nonprofit anytime at their website.
23ABC is a proud sponsor of this event and we'd love to see you out there!
Entry is $20 dollars and you can sign up now or the day of. Click here to register.