Neighbor stories

Season of Giving: San Diego Teenager Starts Shoe Drive for Homeless

Written by ndmulti

In honor of the holidays, we’re sharing stories every week of how neighbors have used Nextdoor to help give back and help in their communities, starting on Giving Tuesday.

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We hope you’re inspired to help give back this holiday season, in ways big or small. To join your Nextdoor neighborhood and rally your community to join in on the effort, visit and enter your email and home address.

For San Diego teen Christian Moyer, inspiration came from an unlikely place: an SAT prep class.

“We were looking at this section about college essays,” Christian remembers. “One of the prompts was: ‘Tell us about a struggle you have had in life and how you overcame it.’ And I realized how fortunate I was not to have any struggles in life and how other people don’t have as much as I do.”

That was all it took. Inspired by “Barefoot Sunday,” an annual church event that encourages members to donate new or gently-used shoes to charity, Christian set out to start his own shoe donation program, planning to donate even more to the shelters his church helped.

“Everyone has needs, and some people need more than others sometimes.”
He asked his friends, neighbors, and family members for donations, encouraging them to do a little closet clean-out. He posted on his neighborhood’s Nextdoor website asking for donations, and set out a bin on his family’s patio for an easy drop-off point.

In no time at all, Christian had collected 160 pairs of shoes. The shoes that were directly donated to the shelters were sold in a charity thrift store, with proceeds going back to the community.

“Most people are pretty happy to give,” Christian said. “It’s nice because it makes them realize how many shoes they have that they don’t wear, and it probably makes them feel as good as it makes me feel. I like helping other people in practical ways. When I can see a need being met immediately, that gives me joy.”

For Christian, he’s only getting started.

“My parents always taught me to do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” he says. “If I was in a hard situation, I would want someone to talk to me and help me. Everyone has needs, and some people need more than others sometimes.”

Do you have a story about how you’ve used Nextdoor in your neighborhood? Let us know.

Originally reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune. Image courtesy of Nelvin C. Cepeda / San Diego Union-Tribune.

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