DeKalb nonprofit organization provides shoes to those in need

The Free Shoe Closet is appointment based only but allows drop-offs at any time.


Courtesy of Kayilae Ramirez

The Free Shoe Closet, 601 Haish Blvd, donates shoes to anyone in need with no qualifications. People can donate their shoes in the bins located outside.

DeKALB — The Free Shoe Closet, 601 Haish Blvd, is a nonprofit organization that provides shoes to anyone in need. Its mission is to be here for the community and help those in need. 

They opened their doors last summer and recently relocated this month. The Free Shoe Closet works out of a garage, courtesy of Kayilae Ramirez. 

The Free Shoe Closet of DeKalb was started by Khrysty McWhorter but is now being run by Kayilae Ramirez. 

“Khrysty partnered with a company that takes shoes that aren’t wearable and recycles them to give away to people in need,” Ramirez said. “She is the most kindhearted person I know, and I believe she really took this to heart, which is what led her to starting her own Free Shoe Closet here in DeKalb. It just sort of happened for Khrysty.” 

Ramirez said McWhorter jumps in when she sees someone who needs help and is constantly looking for ways she can improve the area she lives in. 

At The Free Shoe Closet, no shoe goes to waste. The Free Shoe Closet works directly with the community ensuring all shoes find a purpose whether that be recycling them or finding them a new home. Every shoe is approved and used.

“We accept shoes anytime that the sun is shining,” Ramirez said. “Generally 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. but we are very flexible.” 

The bins are always outside and always accepting donations. People can deliver their old shoes contactless or by setting up an appointment with Ramirez for a time that works best to drop them off. 

The process of donating shoes is very simple. There are bins outside of the garage 24/7 for people to donate any type of shoe. 

“No shoes are bad,” Ramirez said. “We generally like to go with the season so that the individuals who need shoes can find what they need; however, we accept every shoe.” 

To ensure every shoe has a purpose, Ramirez sorts through shoes, cleans them, replaces worn down laces, gets them looking as brand new and clean as possible. 

“Every shoe donated to The Free Shoe Closet will have a purpose. I’ll recycle them or find them a new home,” Ramirez said. 

There is no qualification process for receiving free shoes or booking an appointment. The Free Shoe Closet keeps the process entirely anonymous and does not keep or release any information about who is receiving shoes. Everyone qualifies. 

To book an appointment with The Free Shoe Closet, message them on their Facebook page and schedule a time. To donate shoes, drop them off at the bins provided outside of the garage at 601 Haish Blvd.