INDIANAPOLIS— On Tuesday night, close to 175 kids filled the gym at the JTV Hill Center for the Mike Epps School Essential Giveaway.
Everyone in attendance was given a new pair of shoes, socks, and toiletries.
"This is an honor to me because I don’t really get shoes that often," said Tyrus Crossin, he's a member of Young Men Inc.
Indianapolis native, comedian and actor, Mike Epps collaborated with IMPD Community Engagement and Outreach Bureau and The Great 8xcape.
"I was once a kid here in Indianapolis and I can remember not having shoes some years," said Epps.
Epps says he grew up going to the JTV Hill Center.
"This center right here I can say is part of my story that created who I am, and I can remember having a back to school giveaway where I got a backpack this might have been 1979, 1980 so I got fond memories of this center," said Epps.
Epps says he also knows the importance of places like this because of what kids are going through today.
"As we know the crime is bad," said Epps.
"Fights, people picking on people, bullying just you know people thinking that they’re better than others by what they have but different stuff like that," said Coreonte Taylor, a senior in high school.
IMPD worked with seven different organizations to help identify kids who may need a new pair of shoes. All of them help keep kids on the right track. Taylor has been part of Indy PAL Club for three years playing basketball and helping out in the community.
"Its just helped me build my self better as man," said Taylor.
As everyone continues into the new school year, Epps has one message for them.
"Always remember that education is first. Education will take you along way in life. Make sure you stay in school and make sure you’re kind," said Epps.