Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Shoes, 250 pair, were handed out to homeless families in downtown Columbia Monday.
Courtesy of a resourceful farmer in Calhoun County.
"I never was in the military," said John Culler at his farm in Calhoun County. "As far as I got was Fort Jackson for pre-induction. That was as far as I made it."
Decades since his almost military career, Culler is more connected to the Marines in South Carolina than he ever imagined.
He hosts the Ultimate Mud Run twice a year.
"That mud gets pretty heavy, totin' it around," said Culler who has hosted five Ultimate Mud Runs on his farm.
At the end of the run, many participants don't take their muddy gear home. They leave them on Culler's farm.
"Well this is just a couple of shoes here," said Culler showing a sampling of the 1,500 pairs he thinks he collected this year.
Using his tractor, Culler fashioned a industrial like washing machine that would knock the race's remnants off.
"It looks just that good," said Culler. "It don't take long. Just a little bit of work. We've got a lot of stuff we can give to a lot of people that need it!"
A volunteer at Lexington's Mount Hebron United Methodist Church caught word of the spare soles.
"My great uncle was homeless," said Mary Hook who grabbed 250 pair from Culler's farm.
"We dug up the shoes with him. He fixed up this washing machine and cleaned them all. It was awesome. The problem was they didn't have pairs and so it took us 3 days to match them."
Not long after that, the kicks were in the hands of those that needed them.
"We've got a lot of homeless people down here and I'm part of it," said Willie White Jr. "We are somebody in God's sight. We might be down but we can get back up."
Culler's shoes should help with that.