KDLT Home KDLT on Facebook KDLT on Twitter Get the KDLT iPhone App Get the KDLT Android App

The Man Behind "Shoes For The Shoeless" In Sioux Falls

Bookmark and Share

Thousands of people have shoes on their feet thanks to the generosity of people in the Sioux Empire and the determination of one man. For the past 7 years the owner of a Sioux Falls shoe repair store has taken time away from his business to help others.

Last year he collected 11,000 pairs of shoes for those in need. Making the old look new is something Reid Matteson is very good at. The success of his "Shoes for the Shoeless" program is proof of that. Sometimes great ideas come from a single moment. For Reid that moment came when a man walked into his store on East 10th Street about 8 years ago.

“He had his shoes all duct taped together and it was the middle of winter, he just wanted to know if I could do just something to get his shoes going so he could make it through, and I thought man that's tough, so I had a pair of shoes someone had left so I gave him a pair and he was just so happy and thankful, that's where I kind of got the idea,” said Matteson.

The first year Reid and his wife Jylan collected 1,500 pairs of shoes. Last year that number climbed to 11,000.

This year the Shoes for the Shoeless Program almost didn't happen. In fact it started a little later than usual. Reid is recovering from heart bypass surgery. The medications make it harder to keep his energy level up, but Reid is determined to keep the program going, something those at the Union Gospel Mission are thankful for. Once collected and serviced, the Union Gospel Mission is where the shoes end up. Executive Director Fran Stenberg says he is impressed with Matteson’s dedication.

“He is a very committed man, I talked with him this morning and I just notice that about him, cause he's had his own problems this summer and he seems so committed top doing this and so excited about being able to do this,” said Stenberg.

The Shoes for the Shoeless Program not only helps people it helps the environment. For instance, if you put a cowboy boot in the landfill it can take decades for it to degrade.

“Why fill the landfill with all these things when we can recycle this stuff and reuse them again? Most of the shoes we get have hardly been worn. People buy them and they don't quite fit right, so what do we do? We put them in the closet never to be seen again. Lets dig them out bring them to us and we will put them back in use," said Matteson.

You can drop off your shoes at Family Orthopedic and Shoe Repair. The store is located at the corner of East 10th Street and Van Eps Avenue in Sioux Falls. Steak-Out delivery drivers will also collect shoes for the program. Reid says since he got a late start he will collect shoes until the end of November.
< Prev Story Back To Top Next Story >
Someone You Should Know Archive

SD Native Rises Above Tragic Accident  story with video

An Aberdeen native has been through what most will ...

Man Approached Small Children In Mitchell

Police are looking for a man who has approached ...

Thousands Hunting For Easter Eggs

The Easter Bunny made an early trip to drop off eggs at McKennan ...

Sioux City Riverboat Casino Prepares To Close  Apr. 19

SD Lottery Offers Losing Tickets 2nd Chance  Apr. 19

Sioux Falls Storm Helps Kids In Need  story with video  Apr. 19

After Wait, Ranchers Find Relief From USDA  Apr. 19

Sioux Falls Storm Helps Kids In Need  story with video  Apr. 19

KDLT News Archive

Storm Stomp Wyoming  story with video

SIOUX FALLS, S. D. --  The Sioux Falls Storm defeated the Wyoming Cavalry 64-29 Saturday night, ...

FORCED OUT: Fort Wayne Sweeps Sioux Falls  story with video

FORT WAYNE, IN --  The best Sioux Falls Skyforce season in ...

Red Raiders Roll Past Briar Cliff  story with video

ORANGE CITY, IA  --  The 20th-ranked Northwestern Red Raiders had little ...

Skyforce Need Complete Effort To Win In Fort Wayne  story with video  Apr. 19

Pitching Propels Jacks To Sweep At Fort Wayne  story with video  Apr. 19

Coyotes Drop Series Finale With IUPUI  story with video  Apr. 19

Coo Sweep Peacocks On Senior Day  story with video  Apr. 19

NSIC-Leading Mankato Slips Past Augie  story with video  Apr. 19

KDLT Sports Stories
Back To Top