It’s fantastic. It’s awesome. It’s not what you expect,” said Bret, a 48th Avenue Center guest, when describing his reaction to his new pair of shoes.

Runners Roost, a running store in Colorado, recently donated 300 pairs of New Balance shoes to give to guests at 48th Avenue Center. Runners Roost has partnered with Denver Rescue Mission for about 10 years and has donated up to 1,000 pairs of shoes for Easter events in past years.

This year, despite experiencing the impact of COVID-19 on its stores, Runners Roost was generous enough to continue donating shoes.

“Giving back and community engagement is a commitment for Runners Roost,” said Kent Wories, owner of Runners Roost. “The stores took a significant hit from being closed and events being canceled, but we also received generous support from different sources–our brand partners, customers and federal aid. We see this as a way for us to extend support to those in our community who need it.

For guests like Bret, receiving a new pair of shoes is an unexpected blessing.

“[Receiving shoes] before was a relief. Now, it’s a gift—a very big gift. You guys didn’t have to do this, and I know that,” Bret said with tears in his eyes. “You guys take the extra step when you don’t have to, so thank you.”

Thanks to the generosity of Runners Roost, our guests can find comfort during an uncomfortable time in their lives.

“Foot health is very important and impacts the well-being for your entire body,” said Kent. “Plus, a new pair of shoes can brighten your day and give some confidence to take on the next challenge.”

Runners Roost not only provided the shoes, but also sent a team of volunteers to help distribute them at the shelter.

“I just want to say to the donors, thank you,” said Bret. “You made my day. No doubt about it.”

Written by: Linneya Gardner, Content and Photography Intern