ATL music exec gives back to hometown's Vashti Center -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

ATL music exec gives back to hometown's Vashti Center

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By LeiLani Golden - bio | email

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) –An Atlanta music executive is giving back to the town he says made him a success. Charles McCree is the founder of Atlanta's "Project: Walk A Mile In My Shoes", a program that collects shoes for the homeless and inner city.

Now, he's bringing the program to Thomasville, his hometown. But as WALB News10's LeiLani Golden shows us, the shoes aren't your typical charitable donation.

When Charles McCree chased his dreams of becoming a successful player in the entertainment music industry, he never forgot the people that helped him along the way.

"Thomasville has done so much I don't think they realize," says McCree. "Just with the friends I've met, the teachers, they've supported me."

And when he heard the troubled youth of Thomasville's Vashti Center needed new shoes, he worked with his old friend Antonio Stevenson to extend his "Project: Walk a Mile in My Shoes" program to south Georgia.

"The people of Thomasville have been so good to me and I'm just grateful to be able to do this," he says.

Stevenson adds, "This is the season of giving and a lot of these kids need things. It's a privilege to be able to give back to these kids for them to enjoy. They feel loved. It makes me feel great."

Another friend of McCree agrees, "It is important because it's the holidays to give back. And Charles is doing such a good thing."

The shoes McCree collects aren't what people typically think of as charitable donations. All of them are name brand and many are donated by celebrities.

And they gave back everything from custom shoes made only in Japan, to Jay-Z's S. Carter shoes, to custom Air Force Ones.

"You can't even find these in the stores anymore," points out McCree.

But celebrities aren't the only ones feeling generous. McCree shows off a pair of shoes donated by an Atlanta firefighter.

And McCree says the shoes are just the lift these kids need during the holidays.

"I remember what it was like to get my first pair of shoes. It's a big confidence boost."

Allowing them to feel better about themselves as they walk into the next chapter of their lives.

Charles McCree donated 55 pairs of shoes to the Vashti Center.

He says he wants to make the shoe drive an annual event in Thomasville and expand it to other organizations like the Boys & Girls Club.

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