NEW YORK — High School Seniors Ross Brodsky and Alex Goldenberg are working in Ross's Kip’s Bay apartment, in a guest room turned into a workshop for refurbishing old sneakers to make them like new again. It's an initiative called Sole Purpose, founded last spring after Ross saw a video of a New Yorker expressing kindness to a homeless individual. 

"He passed a man with no shoes or socks on and he then took off his own shoes and socks and gave it to the man on the street and he walked home barefoot and I think it really hit home for us”, said Brodsky.”

What You Need To Know

  • Soul Purpose was founded in May 2020 by Ross Brodsky and Alex Goldenberg, now seniors at the Dwight School

  • The initiative is focused on collecting, refurbishing and donating new and gently used sneakers and socks to the homeless in NYC

  • The effort was sparked by a grant won by Brodsky and Goldenberg through at Shark Tank-like competition at their school called "Spark Tank"

  • Soul Purpose works with various agencies that serve the homeless to distribute the refurbished sneakers and socks

Last May, Sole Purpose was born with the help of a grant from Brodsky and Goldenberg's school, the Dwight School on the Upper West Side, through a Shark Tank like competition. Since then they have held collection drives for new and gently used sneakers and socks, delivered to agencies that serve the homeless, and held "Taking it to the Streets" distribution events at places like Tompkins Square Park. 

Sole Purpose has distributed more than 2100 pairs of sneakers and 7800 pairs of socks. The hope is to get more schools on board to keep the effort going. As for the two self-professed sneaker-head founders, they say the experience has been a tremendous one. 

"I think we are doing a lot of things that high schoolers are not doing, you know it's been really rewarding”, said Goldenberg. 

"You know just seeing them smile and seeing how happy they get is just, you know it makes me feel pretty good and it makes me want to do more”, said Brodsky.

And by the looks of things, expect a lot more from the founders and team of sole purpose. 

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