CREATED Sep. 17, 2012
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- You may see a warehouse full of shoes, but Tony and Nikki Berti see opportunities to love and mentor kids.
Tony told Action News, "It's not just about giving kids shoes. It's about giving them the choice and spending moments with that child that may or may not have any parent involvement at home or anybody who supports them."
Back when Tony was in the NFL, the San Diego Charges held a one-day shoe giveaway.
Nikki Berti says, "Even after Tony retired from the NFL, it was the one event that really stuck in our mind that we wanted to continue with when he retired."
But after a few years of busing a few hundred kids to area shoe stores, the Bertis realized they could help thousands of kids if they could just take the shoes to the kids.
A generous donation enabled the Bertis to purchase a hauler big enough to carry 3,000 pairs of shoes. Tony drives it.
Nikki Berti says the story that's been sticking with her the most recently involves two military families they helped. Nikki said, "They came through our crisis program where the parent who served attempted suicide."
In the past nine years, Goodie Two Shoes has provided shoes to more than 27,000 children here in our Valley. But the footwear is only half the gift.
Nikke says, "There is an opportunity to mentor, whether it's five minutes or 45 minutes."
Goodie Two Shoes operates lean and mean. They have a staff of three, including Nikki and Tony.
So they rely on more than 900 volunteers to help make the shoe distributions happen.
Tony told us he wears a size 15, and his mother shopped in thrift stores for his shoes, so he knows how special it is to have a new pair of shoes.