BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Orlie’s Shoe Drive began a few years ago when Nicole Vigil’s father-in-law, Orlie, passed away.
"My mother-in-law was telling my husband that the reason that they got shoes every Christmas was because Orlie, his father, never got shoes that were in good shape and he had to put cardboard in his shoes growing up as a kid," said Nicole.
Nicole and her husband Alex started their nonprofit in honor of Orlie. They collect shoes for children in local schools and shelters.
“Last year we were able to do 600 shoes and we were able to bless a bunch of kids in our community, and so that being said, we thought, 'Well, maybe this year we should start a little earlier,'" said Nicole.
Next month, Orlie’s Shoe Drive is hosting a Christmas in July 5k fundraiser, an event 23ABC is sponsoring.
“We are going to have food trucks and music, and it’s just going to be a fun family event," said Nicole. "Bakersfield in July is not fun so we’re going to make Bakersfield in July fun by this 5k."
Some of those food trucks include Kona Ice and Covenant Coffee. The event is taking place at the Valley Baptist Olive Drive location. To sign up, click here. It’s $17 per person.
“The reason we chose $17 is that’s a pair of shoes, so every entry is one pair of shoes for a kid in Kern County," said Nicole.
They hope to donate 1,000 pairs of shoes this coming Christmas.
“The fact that we’ve been able to do this and that we have the community behind us that’s going to support and help us out, it’s just a really humbling moment and I'm just really excited," said Nicole.
If you know someone who should be featured in Kern's Kindness, email us at email@example.com.