A Redondo Beach family is collecting shoes to help their Midwestern friends, who run Gabriel’s Light, an organization that works to prevent adolescent suicide and cyber bullying while promoting cyber safety.
The son of Chicago residents Carol and Brendan Deely died by suicide in 2018 after he was bullied, which left him feeling isolated and hopeless at school. Nearly a year later, Gabriel Chufamo Deely’s parents founded Gabriel’s Light to spread awareness of youth suicide through their son’s story.
Redondo Beach resident Krystin Murray’s children, Claire, 15, and Jack, 11, are youth ambassadors for Gabriel’s Light and have spearheaded the West Coast shoe collection for a national fundraiser benefiting the foundation.
Any type and size of gently worn or new footwear can be donated until Oct. 4. The fundraiser, which started Aug. 4, has so far collected 500 pairs of shoes — with a goal of 2,500.
Those shoes will then go to a for-profit organization called Funds2Orgs that helps other groups raise money through footwear fundraisers. Funds2Orgs will take the shoes and, based on how many it receives, give Gabriel’s Light a corresponding amount of money. Funds2Orgs will then repurpose those shoes for its other initiatives, including by giving businesses in underdeveloped countries a product — footwear — to sell.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, fun runs and lemonade stands weren’t an option for raising money for Gabriel’s Light, Krystin Murray said. But collecting shoes will help both Gabriel’s Light and growing businesses worldwide.
The Deelys’ foundation, for its part, also funds suicide education programs and peer-to-peer suicide prevention programs in Illinois schools; presents direct action campaigns to school district leadership and principals; and provides self-care resources for youth in crisis.
There are two places to drop off footwear:
Bay Cities Church, 4915 Emerald St., in Torrance, either in the back or in the parking lot; and
The Murray family’s home, 430 N. Paulina Ave., in Redondo Beach, either at the front or in the back alley.
Information: Krystin Murray, 310-997-5047 or firstname.lastname@example.org.