Jerry Hudgins of Sole Reason knows the power of one. How do we change the world? We change it with one act of kindness at a time.
For the last three and a half years, Hudgins has been giving away new sneakers to kids in need. The Jefferson Award winner told KSNT it all started when he realized there was no organization dedicated to making sure kids in the Topeka area had shoes.
“For some of these kids we deal with, it might be the only new thing they get for the whole year,” said Hudgins. “I compare it to like Christmas morning.”
Hudgins named his organization Sole Reason, a catchy name that has an even catchier motto.
“Putting sneakers on their feet and smiles on their faces — that’s been our motto since day one,” said Hudgins.
Hudgins collects all the shoes through sneaker drives, donations, and grants. He estimates he’s given away around 4,500 pairs of shoes. That’s pretty amazing, especially given that this isn’t even his job. It’s just something he does in the spare time when he’s not working nearly 80 hours a week at a factory or helping to take care of his three kids.
KSNT News Anchor Brooke Lennington asked Hudgins what it was that drives him.
“Here’s your story, you want a story for the news, here’s your story,” said Hudgins. “My kid was involved in a pretty serious accident and I made a promise to God that if he heals my son, makes him better, then I’ll dedicate the rest of my life helping these kids with shoes. And that’s pretty much why I do it in a nutshell.”
Golf Tournament Fundraiser
Hudgins says the main fundraiser for the organization is coming up soon. The Get Teed Off For Kids Golf Tournament will be held June 29 at Cypress Ridge Golf Course, 2633 SW Urish Rd. There will be a 9 a.m. shotgun start.
Sponsors are needed for the tournament, and they will have a chance to win an autographed KU basketball from the Final Four team. Sponsorships can be Hole Sponsor, Beverage Cart Sponsor, Contest Hole Sponsor and more. Sponsors get media recognition, signage and a personal visit and photos with Jerry. Corporate sponsors also get radio spots. Sponsorships start at only $100.
Cost to play in the tournament is $320 per team, which includes cart, food, drink tickets, and prizes. There will also be a Silent Auction, a 50/50 raffle, and a chance to win a Devonte Graham jersey.
“Get your friends together for this 4-person scramble and enjoy a fun day on the course for a great cause,” Hudgins said.
To get registered for the tournament, go to www.solereason.golfgenius.com. Payment can be made online, or by mailing a check to Sole Reason at 700 NE Green St., Topeka, KS 66616.
For more information about Sole Reason, you can contact Hudgins at Sole_Reason@yahoo.com or (785) 338-2965. To get involved or to donate to the organization, go to www.solereason.net/donate-today/. You can also mail check to Sole Reason at 700 NE Green St., Topeka, KS 66616.