In an answer to the highly criticized sting operation that used “bait trucks” full of shoes to lure potential Chicago youth, Vic Mensa is hosting an event to give away footwear for the local community.
The rapper’s SaveMoneySaveLife has organized a shoe drive which will be hosted this weekend. It comes after videos went viral of Englewood residents confronting police officers over planting trucks filled with Nike shoes in the predominately Black neighborhood to entice stealing.
SaveMoneySaveLife co-founder and executive director Laundi Keepseagle confirmed to the Chicago Sun-Times Wednesday that Mensa’s event on Sunday, Aug. 26 will feature multiple “anti-bait trucks” and they will be filled with shoes for a range of ages. Anyone who shows up at the Englewood Community Center from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. will be able to choose shoes from brands like Nike, Puma, Addidas and Converse.
“If you weren’t aware, the police escorted a bait truck full of shoes through the hood on one of the cities most violent weekends, showing just what they think of us,” Mensa said on Instagram Wednesday. “Strength is in numbers and power is to the people; we know our worth, and apparently, the world does too. Shout to @shaunking & @anwarhadid for the solidarity.”
Several anonymous athletes and musician donors made large contributions to the drive resulting in 10,000 pairs of shoes being gifted. Keepseagle said some of the footwear came from countries as far as Australia and China.
“It’s amazing. I spent the last half hour crying,” Keepseagle said. “It’s been overwhelming. It’s been so beautiful. I’m so excited for these kids to get shoes for the new [school] year.”
In addition to nabbing footwear, visitors will be able to get a haircut free of charge, take in performances and grab a bite to eat from food trucks.
Among those famous folks who will be there, they include Mensa and fellow Chicago native Chance The Rapper, who promoted the giveaway on his Instagram page.
“It sickens me to think about it but we must do for our own,” he said in part. “Bring your cousins and siblings and whatnot to come and receive a free pair of shoes and repost this to tell someone who may be in need.”