Dr. Kent Kronowski, a podiatrist who works in Augusta and Martinez, started a shoe drive for the homeless more than 15 years ago. His office and several other podiatrists' offices in the area have boxes set up to collect shoes of all kinds to donate to the homeless. The drive runs through the beginning of the year. Kronowski says children's shoes are especially needed.
Photo by Annette M. Drowlette
Dr. Kent Kronowski, a podiatrist who practices in Martinez and Augusta, says he knows what it's like to go without a pair of shoes.
"One year I was in surgery and someone from Catholic Social Services came by (and took my shoes out of my office)," he said with a laugh. "I guess there was a need."
Although his work shoes were accidentally taken, the idea of donating footwear to the homeless was nothing new to Kronowski, who has been involved in a shoe donation drive for more than 15 years.
The drive, which was started by podiatry students in Chicago in the late 1980s, spread to other states and garnered Kronowski's support.
This year, he is once again asking for people in the Augusta area to help him with the drive.
Kronowski said his office and six other podiatry offices in the area will collect shoes for the homeless through Jan. 3.
Construction shoes, special shoes for diabetics, baby shoes, work shoes and regular footwear of any type and size will be accepted, he said.
The greatest need, though, is for children's shoes, he said.
In the past, Kronowski said, his office has collected 1,000 pairs of shoes for the less fortunate. He said the shoes will be given to Catholic Social Services or area churches, who will then distribute them to the homeless.
"We do this every year because of the homeless, of course, and we also do it because of our patients," he said, adding that his patients look forward to participating in the annual project.
"When it gets to be fall, they come in with shoes underneath their arms. So, it's a good feeling to see people out there that care. We have to keep it going," he said.
To make donations, call Kronowski at 724-0586.
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