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      I have always loved to help people. For the past thirteen years, I worked at the Geneva Fire Department and currently apply the medical skills I acquired there in the Emergency Department at the Delnor campus of Northwestern Hospital. I also happen to love sneakers...

     The idea for Sneaker Heartz started one morning when I woke up and glanced at my wall of shoes to decide which pair to wear that day. But instead of my usual excitement, I felt guilt; why should I have so many sneakers when I know there are so many people who don't even have one decent pair, let alone the excessive amount that line my walls on shelves? My first thought was to donate them, or maybe sell them for some type of fundraiser. Yet the more I sat there and thought about how to give back in some way, the more I realized that simply giving away or selling my own collections wasn't enough and would only rob me of the very passion that was fueling this philanthropic desire.

     After speaking with my friend Jason Sandquist (who has a wall of sneakers that rivals my own), he was quick to propose starting a nonprofit to explore just how great of an impact we could have on those who need it most. That suggestive nudge is all it took to light a fire under me to affect real, tangible change in my community that I am hopeful will someday reach even further. Because helping others is literally what I live for, Sneaker Heartz allows me the opportunity to join this life purpose with my lifelong passion for sneakers.

     All the members of Sneaker Heartz bring something unique to our team - we connected because we love sneakers, we help because we love people. Whatever we build from here can only bring positive change to the world around us.

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