Skip to content

Our Story

Shoes 4 the Shoeless, Inc. is a non-profit that provides new, correctly fitting gym shoes and socks to Southwest Ohio children in desperate need. Through a uniquely efficient and effective system, we help children eliminate one of poverty’s most visible stigmas.

In Southwest Ohio, an estimated 60% of children live in poverty. The majority of them are in desperate need of shoes and socks. Wearing ill-fitting and worn shoes often condemns children to physical, social and emotional problems that last a lifetime. Shoes 4 the Shoeless began in 2010 and has helped well over 160,000 children.


To provide new, properly fitting gym shoes and socks to children in need.


To bring relief.

Why We Do This

The world has continued to change from when Shoes 4 the Shoeless began in 2010. One constant has been the deep need for caring individuals to reach the unmet need of shoes and socks for disadvantaged children within our community. Shoes and socks are the most visible stigma for a child in poverty.

We strive to elminate this issue. S4TS continues evolving to meet this growing need. Helping more children each year is possible due to generous community members who donate countless hours and funds.

Play Video

How We Do It

To deliver thousands of shoes each year, it takes incredible planning and coordination. Below are the members of our Staff Team, our Board of Directors that sets our strategic plan and vision for Shoes 4 the Shoeless, and our Greater Cincinnati Advisory Council which helps with expansion efforts to a new area.

Staff Team



Executive Director

Kris Horlacher R.N. is a native Daytonian. She began S4TS while managing a mentoring program for homeless children she started in 2007. Kris is experienced in the

development and execution of a variety of hospital and community based programs geared towards crisis care and health and wellness promotion. She holds Nursing degrees from The Miami Valley Hospital school of Nursing and Wright State University. She has been recognized by the Ohio State Senate for her work with S4TS. Under her leadership S4TS has received national, statewide and local recognition. As Executive Director of S4TS, Kris is responsible for steering the organization in the proper direction, community networking and education, coordinating the thousands of shoe/sock deliveries, and general oversight of the mission. These are easy tasks since she has surrounded herself with an extremely capable and passionate team. She is closely associated with the Christian ministry of Young Life and is on the Board of Dayton Urban Young Life. Kris lives in Kettering with her 2 kids Jake and Holly.

Show More


Greater Cincinnati Area Director

John Forde joined S4TS in 2023 as the Greater Cincinnati Area Director. Having lived in Cincinnati his whole life, he is acutely aware of the dire need of properly

fitting footwear for children afflicted by poverty.

John is a multi-talented, and accomplished leader, with experience in sales, education, finance, and entrepreneurship. He has even worked in management at a shoe store.

Prior to S4TS, John worked as a para-educator in Cincinnati Public Schools. As well as holding positions within the Cincinnati Rec Center system in the summer months. His wife is wonderful and is a teacher in the Fairfield City School District. They are proud parents to a sweet little boy.

Born and raised in Cincinnati. John is a product of Cincinnati Public Schools. He has first-hand knowledge of the need for shoes among the students. He has seen it with his own eyes, but most importantly he has seen their suffering with his heart.

Passionate about people in general, he serves as an Associate Pastor at The Valley Church in Norwood.

Show More


Operations Director

Michelle is a Dayton native. She began as a volunteer for S4TS in 2013 and fell in love with our mission. Holding an accounting degree from Wright State,

her role has evolved to a staff position overseeing our inventory management and banking operations.

Show More

Board of Directors



Board Member | Chair

Eric Halter graduated from Wright State University in 1998 with a Bachelors of Science. Eventually obtaining a MBA at the University of Dayton, he currently works at Wright-Patterson Air

Force Base leading a 75-person team of R&D Scientists and Engineers. Prior to his employment at WPAFB, he was the Executive Director at First Baptist Church of Kettering. In that role he helped lead the strategic and operational planning for the 800+ member, multi-campus church.

Eric is married, has three children, and resides in the Centerville/Springboro area.

Show More


Board Member | Secretary

Travis Kinnison has been a Dayton metro resident majority of his life. He grew up north of town in Tipp City and currently lives in Xenia with his wife and four daughters. Travis is an

active church member at Xenia Nazarene and serves Shoes 4 the Shoeless through the use of his graphic art and marketing talents. Travis is employed as the Creative Director at James Investment Research, Inc. He is currently serving a term as the Board Secretary through 2025.

Show More


Board Member | Treasurer

Brian Culpepper graduated from Wright State University in 1995 after earning a double Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems and Business Management. Brian continued at

 Wright State to complete his MBA in 2005. He is currently President of James Investment Research, Inc., where he serves on the Investment Committee and oversees the firm’s management. Brian became involved with S4TS after his wife Kristie raved about how this organization is changing lives. Brian is currently serving a term as an At-Large Board Member through 2024. He aids Shoes in overseeing our short & long-term investments; Brian and Kristie live in Beavercreek with their two boys, Addison and Tucker, and daughter Annie Kate. Both are active members of First Baptist Church of Kettering, Ohio.

Show More


Board Member

Lamonte Hall, Jr., is born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. He holds a BA in Communications from Central State University, and a MBA from Western

Governor’s University. Lamonte works for the City of Dayton where he currently serves as the Executive Director of the Human Relations Council. In prior roles with the City of Dayton, he served as a Recreation Facility Specialist, Program Coordinator, and Division Manager of the Dayton Convention Center. Lamonte is the co-founder of The Unit, a community service-based group that has provided free workouts to the community 2-3 times per week since 2009. Lamonte is excited to join the ST4S team and looks forward to helping further the mission and vision of this amazing organization.

Show More


Board Member

Sally Royer is a lifelong Dayton resident. Royer spent over 30 years working as a social worker providing case management to at risk children

and their families. Spending the past 22 years as the district social worker for Miamisburg City Schools. Her passion for children and making sure their needs were met led her to creating many programs in that community including Community Connections, EMPOWER mothers group and their After School Program. In 2016 NASW Ohio Chapter awarded her The Region VII Social Worker of the Year. Sally and her husband Bob have 3 grown children. With her recent retirement she is very excited and honored to continue to serve children as a board member for this valuable organization.

Show More


Board Member

Dr. Brie Nelson has an EdD in Instructional Distance Technology Education and Curriculum Development. Dr. Nelson, a

life-long learner, spent the first two years of her education career teaching Middle School science in an urban school district in Missouri. She then taught overseas in an international school located in Lisbon, Portugal. Upon returning to the states, Dr. Brie Nelson started working with charter schools and designing virtual courses for higher education institutions. She has had a fulfilling career teaching in K-12, higher education and consulting. She has written, designed and developed numerous courses, programs as well as community and organizational offerings. Dr. Nelson and her family currently reside in Southern, OH on military assignment. They have three beautiful young children and a menagerie of fur-children.

Show More


Board Member

Terry is currently a Patrol officer with the Dayton Police Department. He has served in multiple positions for the city of Dayton over the past

10 years. Past positions included serving as a recruitment officer, community engagement officer as well as a detective for special investigations. During his time with the department Perdue created a program that provides officers with snacks and resources to engage our youth while on duty.

Before serving as a police officer, he worked for Montgomery County, as a job coach and rehabilitation specialist for adults with special needs for 12 years.

A product of Dayton Public Schools, graduating from Dunbar High School in 1998. Purdue completed his AA degree at Sinclair Community College and BS at Wilberforce University.

Recently, he spearheaded an organization called The Unit. This organization offers free health and fitness classes for all members of the community and provides monthly opportunities for the members to serve in their communities.

Since 2009 they have had thousands of participants at our programs as well as thousands of hours volunteering within Montgomery County.

Terry’s hobbies includes real estate, fitness and encouragement.

Show More


Board Member

Scott Kujawa is a retired Deputy Chief with the Washington Township Fire Department in Montgomery County, Ohio where he has served since 1991.

He is a graduate of Columbia Southern University with a degree in Fire Administration. Scott is the accreditation manager for Washington Township, a peer team reviewer for the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, a strategic planning consultant with the Ohio Fire Chiefs, and he is designated as a Chief Fire Officer with the Commission on Professional Credentialing. He lives in Centerville with his wife and two children.

Show More


Board Member

Abby Weitzel grew up in Coldwater, Ohio but fell in love with all things Cincinnati once she started college and has stayed ever since.

She graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2016 with her Bachelor’s of Early Childhood Education. She knew her passion was to work with kids and serve within her community. She went on her tour of colleges post-graduation where she attended Wittenberg University for a reading endorsement, Bowling Green University for a license expansion, Western Governors University for her Master’s degree, and Northcentral University for an educational specialist degree to fulfill her passion for education. She teaches first grade in Cincinnati Public Schools and also serves as a mentor for Girls to Women within Cincinnati Public Schools. If she’s not at school, she enjoys exploring the city with her dog, Kerchak. She is excited to join in Shoes 4 the Shoeless and all it stands for.  

Show More

Greater Cincinnati Advisory Council



Executive Director

Cincinnati Reds Community Fund




Leap Academy



Lead Pastor

The Valley Church




Fairview-Clifton German Language School - CPS



Digital Marketing Specialist

Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio


  • 2023 – Cincinnati Bengals Hometown Hero Award
  • 2023 – NFL My Cleats My Cause Recipient
  • 2023 – MLK Community Hero Award
  • 2022 – Ron Diver Friend of Education Award
  • 2022 – Paula J Macllwaine Award Women Making a Difference
  • 2022 – Kettering City Schools Fairmont Industries Award
  • 2021 - Eastway Valued Community Partner
  • 2021 - Kettering City Schools Valued Community Partner
  • 2021 - Best Dayton "Clothing" Non-Profit
  • 2021 - Centerville Noon Optimists - Community Champion
  • 2019 - City of Springfield Proclamation - New Shoes Day
  • 2016 - Better Business Bureau Eclipse Integrity Award Winner
  • 2014 - Fox 45/ABC 22 Pay it Forward Award
  • 2014- Dayton School Board Award
  • 2014 – Community Health Promotion Award. Boonshoft School of Medicine. Wright State University.
  • 2014 - Bright Ideas Ohio - Excellent Social Service Organization
  • 2013 – Ohio State Senate Recognition
  • 2013 – Recognition from the Ohio Governor’s office as one of the best faith and community based organizations in the state of Ohio.
  • 2012 – Mad River School Board Award
  • 2011 – Northridge School Board Award
  • 2010 – Pepsi Refresh Project Winner