During the fall of 2014, Kick Dreams United © (KDU) was founded on a key possibility…what if the sneaker culture emerged as civic minded? Tony Hardy, founder of KDU, identified unused and outdated sneakers as an under utilized resource. From that realization he sought to develop an organization that would function as a bridge between sneaker collectors and those who are in need of sneakers. After the Baltimore Riots of 2015, Tony was motivated to take positive action. He began his mission by taking sneakers out of his closet and delivering them to individuals living on the streets of Baltimore City.
Ideas in Action:
From the inception of KDU Tony has enthusiastically united the citizens of the sneaker culture. They united to provide tennis to Baltimore City Public School students returning to school Fall 2015; they united to provide meals and tennis to individual’s without residence in Baltimore City; with a global interest, they united to provide sneakers to the youth of Rwanda, Africa. Through a partnership with Shooting Touch of Boston, in three visits to Boston, 2015-2016, KDU has delivered over 500 pair of sneakers. Shooting Touch interns have delivered the sneakers in person to Rwanda. Realizing that this initiative has the potential to significantly impact many precious lives, KDU is honored to be an ongoing provider of sneakers for Rwandan youth.
In 2016 KDU expanded to include a student incentive initiative entitled Take Flight. This initiative was piloted at G. E. Peters SDA Academy in Hyattsville, Maryland. Take Flight rewards students with a new pair of sneakers for academic focus and achievement.
The KDU team remains active in the mission to provide sneakers. In addition to the above referenced outreach activities, KDU has expanded to include sneaker provision to group homes and domestic violence prevention centers. Additionally, KDU supports academic, and faith-based outreach initiatives. As a result of hurricane damages, KDU has received request to provide sneakers to students in Texas and Florida. 50 of 250 designated pairs of sneakers have been sent to Texas.
The two-fold success of KDU is as follows: in the process of sneaker collection, Tony Hardy encourages youth and other citizens to get involved in community outreach. As a result, KDU has distributed over 3,000 pairs of sneakers. As requests and outreach opportunities occur, KDU continues with collection, cleaning and delivery of sneakers to service organizations, and directly to individuals living on the streets in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. areas.