Thanksgiving Shoes for the Homeless

Kathleen York, Dr. Lauren Geaney, Lori EngengrroKathleen York, Lori Engengrro providing shoesLauren Ganey retrieving a box of shoesKathleen York, Lori Engengrro providing shoes

In what is now at 12-year Thanksgiving tradition, UConn Health foot care specialists spent Monday evening providing new shoes and socks at two local homeless shelters.

Lori Engengro, Kathleen York, and Dr. Lauren Geaney represented UConn Health at this year’s “Our Hearts to Your Soles” outreach event at the Friendship Service Center and the Salvation Army shelter, both in New Britain.

More than three dozen people were given new shoes and at least one pair of new socks. Additional shoes and socks – more than 60 pairs of each – were left behind at the two shelters to give to others.

“Our Hearts to Your Soles” is a national effort to provide quality shoes and boots, fittings and foot exams to less fortunate men and women. Foot problems are especially common among the homeless, often exacerbated by lack access to properly fitting footwear.

UConn Health’s involvement goes back to 2007, when Dr. Michael Aronow, who at the time was on the faculty, started organizing local volunteers to take part for a night leading up to Thanksgiving. He has continued that every year since.

Red Wing Shoes provided shoes, boots, and socks. Orthopaedic Associates of Hartford also provided socks.