"Finding My Shoes" to give shoes and sleeping bags to the homeless

Tomorrow the Mission will come together with St. Vincent de Paul and Brenda Combs of the Finding My Shoes Foundation to give out donated bedding, shoes and personal hygiene products to the homeless at the "Finding My Shoes" event. This will be the second outreach event organized by Brenda and will be held from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Health and Human Services Campus located at 230 South 12th Avenue in downtown Phoenix.

In addition to Brenda Combs, Carrie Stoudemire, mother of Phoenix Suns Amar'e Stoudemire and Former NFL great, Dave Kreig, will be onhand to help volunteers distribute the athletic shoes and bedrolls that have been collected over the past few months.

“The overwhelming success of our first event in September 2009 inspired me to reach out to our community and find a way to continue our cause to give to those that don’t have the means to provide for themselves right now,” said Brenda. "We greeted and talked with hundreds of men and women who lined up to get a warm cup of coffee, hot breakfast, take a shower and walk away with new personal care items and a pair of gently used shoes.  We could not wait another year to help the displaced, so we are hosting tomorrow's event.”

Phoenix Rescue Mission collects blankets, jackets, warm socks, shoes, hats and gloves throughout the cold months to be given at outreach events and to those coming for shelter every night. According to the Mission's Nicole Pena,

"Right now the downtown Mission is bursting at the seams. Some people complain of losing feeling in their fingers, being numb from the cold; others are walking in the cold temperatures without shoes. It's very sad, it's very heartbreaking."

Which is why events like tomorrow's are so needed.

If you have items you would like to donate or would like to find out more, visit our website.

Homemade Hats and Scarves for the Homeless

This is Linda with the 197 hand-knitted scarves and hats she made for the men, women and children who come to the Mission during the holidays. Linda was recovering from surgery and needed to keep her mind and hands busy. She learned to make the knit caps especially for this project. These caps and scarves represent about 6 months of work and will be distributed at the second “Finding My Shoes” event with Brenda Combs and the Phoenix Rescue Mission at St. Vincent de Paul on December 10th.


The Mission is collecting warm winter items for this event and to give to homeless individuals throughout the season. If you have items to donate, they can be dropped off at 3532 W Thomas Rd, Phoenix AZ 85019. Call 602.272.4798 or visit www.phoenixrescuemission.org for more information.

“Finding My Shoes” helps get homeless on their feet

Brenda Combs is the organizer and founder of "Finding My Shoes" an organization dedicated to providing the homeless of Phoenix with shoes. She also happens to be a vibrant member of our Changing Lives Center Board. Once homeless and living in an alley way not far from our new center's construction site, Brenda is now a teacher, author, motivational speaker and Ambassador of Inspiration and Achievement at Grand Canyon University.

Because Brenda knows what it's like to be on the streets, she is spearheading the first ever, "Finding My Shoes" Community Service Event on Thursday, September 17th from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM at St. Vincent de Paul located at 420 West Watkins Avenue in downtown Phoenix.

The event's main purpose is for local volunteers to distribute shoes, water, and personal hygiene items like toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, hand towels and sunscreen to homeless men, women and children to help them start finding their way back.

When asked why giving back in this way is so important, Brenda shared,

"Most people don't realize the value of one pair of shoes, but the homeless do when they live on the streets of Phoenix and it is 105 degrees outside. Being without a decent pair of walking shoes limits your ability to get the basics like food and water, so I am determined that people don't suffer like I did when my Converse were stolen off my feet. I know what it means to have your very own towel to wash your face, when you live in an alley way. I know what it means to have your very own soap and shampoo."

The event will open with Brenda sharing her inspiring story, remarks from Mayor Phil Gordon, Carrie Stoudemire, mother of Phoenix Suns player Amar'e Stoudemire and representatives from St. Vincent de Paul. Sponsors and volunteers for the event include Phoenix Rescue Mission, Grand Canyon University, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Adaptive Technologies Inc, Artful Thinkers and Kathleen Bartolomei, but many items and volunteers are still needed.

To donate shoes or volunteer for this event please contact Beth at (602) 272 -4798 or bmebane@phoenixrescuemission.org.   If you'd like more information about Brenda's amazing story visit www.brendacombs.com.