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Running store gives free shoes for essential workers

The North Georgia Running Company is giving away nearly $10,000 in shoes to people on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

CUMMING, Ga. — On Monday evening, North Georgia Running Company posted to its Facebook page, thanking all the essential workers for their sacrifices, and announcing a giveaway of gently used Hoka sneakers to those workers.

“We are trying to support all of those people that are on the front lines,” store owner Alex Rodriguez said. “We feel the love and they've been supportive of us in the past, so we believe it is our turn to give something back to the community.”

At the start of business on Tuesday, Rodriguez said they had approximately 70 pairs of shoes which sell for about $140 each.

“This is probably one of the best-selling brands for that particular worker, people who spend a lot of time on their feet,” Rodriguez said. “It could be in grocery stores. It could be nurses or doctors, paramedics, firefighters. That's our number one selling shoe for that particular market.”

The shoes were given out on a first-come, first-serve basis. Interested parties simply had to show up and pick out their size and color.

“We’re standing outside curbside right now with a few tables of the shoes,” Hoka said. “There's no stipulations other than you just come and order. Maybe you want to show us your ID. That's fine, but you don't have to have an ID. It's an honor system. Hopefully, there's a pair of shoes for you that fits you well.”

Dozens of people showed up for the giveaway event and walked away with a pair of shoes. As of the close of business on Tuesday, only two pairs remained – men’s size 14 and women’s size 5.5, Hoka said.

“Through this crisis, we feel loved and we feel supported by our community,” he said. “We feel inspired, so why not? If we can help, this is the way we're doing it.”

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