ENTERTAINMENT

Philan-shoe-pist: Kim Kardashian helps Wichita teen reach charity drive goal

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11:  Rapper Kanye West (L) and television personality Kim Kardashian attend the Givenchy fashion show during Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week at Pier 26 at Hudson River Park on September 11, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Rapper Kanye West (L) and television personality Kim Kardashian attend the Givenchy fashion show during Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week at Pier 26 at Hudson River Park on September 11, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)  (2015 Getty Images)

A teenage girl in Kansas woke up Friday morning to discover that Kim Kardashian was desperately trying to find her.

Amelia Flores, a 17-year-old high school student in Andover, has been trying to collect 2,000 pairs of shoes by Dec. 18 to be distributed to the poor by non-profit group Soles 4 Souls, according to the Wichita Eagle.

Flores told the newspaper that Soles 4 Souls was one of the aid organizations that helped her family when they lived in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
“I felt like this was a way to give back to them and say thank you,” she told the Eagle.

Unbeknownst to her, Kim K. was up during the wee hours Thursday morning, feeding her and Kanye West’s second child, Saint, who was born on Dec. 5, when she caught a Dish Nation segment that mentioned Flores’ shoe drive.

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At the time, Flores was halfway to her goal with little more than a week to go – with all thousand or so shoes stored in her bedroom – and the reality TV star was moved to help her cause.

She sent out a series of tweets about Flores and her shoe drive.

The first two postings read, “I’m up breastfeeding and watching this show, Dish Nation. I heard the cutest story of a girl who is trying to find 1,000 pairs of shoes to donate to this charity Soles 4 Souls! They helped her during Hurricane Katrina. I think I know the designer of Shoe of the Year Award!”

Her next tweet offered to get Flores to her goal. “Kanye and I would love to donate those 1000 shoes to Soles 4 Souls.”

“So whoever you are,” Kim K. tweeted, “these shoes are for you! We will contact Soles 4 Souls! You reached your goal, so proud of you!!! Xoxox.”

One potential sticking point: Kardashian didn’t know how to get in touch with Flores.

“I’ve been looking online to find this little girl so we can let her know the shoes are on their way,” Kim K. tweeted, “but can’t seem to find her.”

She did reach out to the company as well as to “Dish Nation” for a little help. “Can you help me find the girl who is trying to get 1,000 pairs of shoes by Christmas?" Kardashian asked the show and charity via Twitter. “Kanye and I would love to donate!”

On its website, Soles 4 Souls announced that it had put Kardashian together with the high school student.

“Amelia is thrilled and has now raised her collection goal to 25,000 pairs of shoes!,” the company announced. “If she accomplishes this, she will be able to travel with Soles4Souls on an overseas shoe distribution trip and deliver hope first-hand!"

The Nashville, Tennessee, based aid organization distributes shoes to needy people around the world.

A few years ago, it made headlines for questionable financial practices – for one, its former CEO earned more than half a million dollars in 2011, a year in which the charity experienced a financial shortfall that was among the largest in the non-profit sector. A black eye that, according to The Tennessean, Soles 4 Souls has worked very hard to fix and overcome.

Flores began her shoe drive in November, according to the Wichita Eagle, by asking the other people in the school’s marching band. She collected 200 shoes fairly quickly and wondered if she should aim higher.

“People were super willing to give their shoes, so I figured why not,” she told the Eagle. Her next step was to set up donation sites at schools, banks and churches.

Never could she have guessed that her drive would reach all the way to Hollywood.

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