Hometown Hero makes sure Valley kids have shoes that are just the right fit

Hometown Heroes

Cathy Crawford, of Austintown, started the nonprofit Soles of Luv to provide shoes and socks to students who need them

CANFIELD, Ohio (WYTV) – An Austintown woman knows all about little feet, and has been putting new shoes and socks on school children in Mahoning and Columbiana counties for years.

Cathy Crawford has learned to do it all — raise money, buy new shoes and socks, and pass them out. She has so many of them, she uses her brother’s company in Canfield to store them.

All of this began in 2010 when Cathy learned about a couple of schools in Youngstown that had students who really needed footwear.

“Word started to spread,” she said. “South Side Academy, Williamson School was where we first started out and, like I said, some of these kids were wearing shoes that were two to three sizes too big for them. They’re tripping up the steps.”

That’s how Soles of Luv was formed.

The new shoes, of course, come with socks.

Cheryl Barkett has been volunteering with Soles of Luv for several years now.

“Caring, compassionate. There are all kinds of adjectives to say about Cathy. She’s very concerned about others,” Cheryl said.

“I owe a lot of this to our dedicated volunteers and if it wasn’t for them and our supporters, we couldn’t do what we’re doing,” Cathy said.

From distributing shoes out of the back of her car to running a nonprofit organization, Cathy’s come a long way.

Right now, she’s in touch with 21 school counselors to find out how and when to pass out the shoes and socks in the age of the coronavirus.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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