Karla was just 15 years old when she gave birth to her son, Brandon. She credits Brandon for teaching her the meaning of true love when she was still a kid herself — and Brandon credits Karla for instilling his deep-rooted sense of kindness and community.

Brandon has lived on the same Chicago street in the same house for most of his life. He was the star athlete on his high school basketball team. And as the years passed, Brandon watched as his community changed and gentrified, leaving many of his neighbors struggling to make ends meet.

About five years ago, Brandon embarked on a mission to help those individuals and families living outside on the city streets.


He started driving around the neighborhoods of Chicago with piles of shoes, sneakers, and boots stuffed into his trunk. “I ride around, and if I see somebody that’s homeless or in need, I pull over and open my trunk,” Brandon told WGNTV. “I got pretty much every size shoe you can imagine. Tell them, take what you need; you can have it!”

This past winter, as temperatures in Chicago dropped freezing, Brandon donated 600 pairs of shoes as part of his Kicks for Joy campaign.

It’s safe to say the world needs more people like Brandon.


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