Monday, April 10, 2017

Getting folks back on their feet, literally and figuratively

Two years ago, Eugene Yoon followed his heart. He quit his job at a California research company and began a hike from the California/Mexico border all the way to Canada. Why? To raise funds for a total stranger.

That stranger, Arthur Renowitzky, had been mugged and shot ten years earlier. His injury left him unable to walk, and though he vowed to walk again, it seemed less and less likely as time went on. For some inexplicable reason, Eugene felt he needed to help Arthur walk again. The two spoke and Eugene was determined to make it happen.

Eugene learned of an exoskeleton which would give Arthur the support he needed to walk. It cost $80,000, well out of reach financially. Where others would see an obstacle, Eugene saw an opportunity. The hike raised the needed funds, and Arthur got his exoskeleton. When he took his first steps, Eugene was there to witness it.

Now Eugene's heart has led him to another need. He met Alberto Velasquez, a skilled garment worker, in Skid Row, and learned that the man and 24 relatives lived under one roof. Alberto and other family members already worked long hours, but were unable to earn enough to free them from their poverty. With Eugene's help, a new clothing line called KIN LOV GRA was born. Proceeds from the sales will ensure a living wage for Alberto and his family.

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