It’s said that the sign of a good referee, in any sport, is when he or she goes unnoticed. However, NBA referees are aiming to draw a little attention, at least this week, for the NBA Referees Association’s Annual Night of Giving.

NBA officials have partnered with It’s From The Sole to donate shoes to the homeless. On Dec. 18, every NBA referee donated his or her game-worn shoes to the cause. They also presented the non-profit with a $6,000 check.

“There are so many people who do not have quality footwear, and so many people who have quality footwear they don’t use, it’s a natural partnership and one we’re hoping people will support,” Marc Davis, an NBA referee for more than 20 years, said.







It’s From The Sole, an organization that collects new or gently worn shoes for the homeless, was founded by Andre McDonnell after he realized what walking around without adequate footwear felt like.

“In 2012, after playing basketball with friends, I spotted a homeless man with no shoes on his feet. A sense of urgency came over me that nudged my soul to take action. I took the sneakers off my feet and offered them to this gentleman,” McDonnell said. “Feeling the same gravel that was under his feet, nothing compared to the gratitude he expressed with this small act of kindness and returned smile. It made me realize there are many unfortunate people similar to his man, without so much as a decent pair of shoes. I knew in my heart there had to be something more I could do to make their walk through life a little easier. From that one moment came It’s From The Sole.”

The NBA partnered with the organization in 2017 as well, and collected 143 pairs of shoes. McDonnell and NBA ref Zach Zarba then distributed the shoes to New York City’s homeless population last summer.



Thanks to It’s From The Soles’ efforts, more than 25,000 pairs of shoes have been donated to the homeless in New York City and other major metropolitan areas around the world.