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“Finding My Shoes” helps get homeless on their feet

September 11, 2009

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   If you’d like more information about Brenda’s amazing story visit

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