Hey quick thought!
Do you remember that time that everything was going to shits for you? Like everything, and for the life of you, you couldn't make it stop or grab an understanding of why these things were just happening to you. It was so much to deal with, including still having to go on with life. That was almost an unbearable time right? You just wanted to break down, and give up on whatever you were doing and just check out. (That horrible time period for you is somebody's everyday lifestyle; And some of these bodies are as helpless as you felt.)
Imagine that feeling you would've gotten if something or someone would've just come to you. Something good, something that shows you the struggle was worth it. Something that shows you that it's not always going to be a struggle. Someone that showed you that you're not in this alone. Okay, do you have that feeling tingling through your body yet? (Good now take that good feeling and put it on a pair of sneakers)
Our event Colored People is about that feeling, and taking that feeling and giving it to someone whose had a "bad day" lifestyle situation. The homeless teen rate in Nevada has gone up over the years bringing us to be the 3rd highest state for homeless and at-risk teens. There are over 6,000 teens registered as homeless and more unregistered. Now I'm not saying we are going to be able to help them all... Yet, but I'm going to do my part in helping as many as I can for as long as I can.
Now lets do some math here. If I've stated that there are over 6,000 teens registered as homeless and a decent pair of sneakers brand new out of the box averages to be about $150 per pair depending on size, brand, etc. that would mean that I would need about $900,000 just to get the sneakers for that 6,000. Now I don't come from a rich family, at all! Hell I grew up in a 3 bedroom 1 bathroom house in North Philly that about 13 people lived in and was a home to hundreds, and we've never had a lot of money. Most of us barely making ends meet. So I'm pretty familiar with the struggles. There was a small period of time that I, my mother, and brother were homeless until my mom sent us back to our grand mom and dad while she got herself together. But you see, this is where I acknowledge my blessings. My family has so much love that my mom had a family to send her kids to while she took a moment for herself.
Now I'm not saying that these kids will look at me, Yo Kid! Fresh Kicks, or even Colored People as family but I am saying that they and anyone who needs to feel some love will have that option. So if I'm not rich, and my family is broke how am I getting to help the way that I have? Well, for one I DJ, and before you ask NO!, no it doesn't. I am an independent artist and Chance The Rapper I am not. Lol So with that being thrown out there; With my DJing I'm able to by some of the very basic things. Their little things but they count. I'm able to get the sneakers cleaned through the almighty EB Kicks, who has supported Traveling Kicks and Yo Kid! Fresh Kicks from the beginning. Eline and her husband Kenny donates some of their amazing Sneaker Cleaner to our programs. And now we have Colored People! Which is going to be so great because we're not just giving a pair of sneakers; No. We are giving customized sneakers! So to do that we are seeking amazing artists, who see and can appreciate our vision. We've been given blessings of 3 more companies that loves what we're doing. Blick Art Material, Jacquard Products, and Art Primo are all helping with paints and supplies to help us customize the sneakers. Now for the question of the article... Where do we get the sneakers??? From the community, our community, your community. People that want to help, and want to help us help those who accepts it.
I'm not rich, I've never been rich, and I don't know if I will ever be rich. I've lived in working class my whole life scraping to make ends meet. Doing everything that I can as a person to survive. But as much as I have my struggles, I know my blessings in luxuries. I know the pleasures of being able to say I'm able. And I know how close to almost not being able to on more occasions than anyone should. See if I've learned anything from my family is that no one can do it alone, and you need to have someone to lean on. It can't just be you. How was I able to get so lucky, the love of my family. Without it whose to say what kind of hope I would have. And that's what we're giving, love. With each shoe the kids will see that someone took the time, and made the effort to make something nice just for them that only they will have a right to claim. Kids know when they're being given hand me downs. And they are appreciative I'm sure because without it they wouldn't have anything. And it's mostly because their care taker just can't afford new. I was on the receiving end of that from my big brother. And the way I see it is, well I don't have any kids, so I'm usually like the fun aunt that shows up with a cool pair of shoes to spoil the child with. And that's the Colored People feel. The cool aunt/uncle that comes around with the best gifts to carry on a smile!