Vans Shoes Provides Steps for Hope

Feb. 13, 2008 By Jenna Bartlo

LA MIRADA, CALIF. — Biola University (’06) alum, Matt Wilkerson, coordinated a Vans shoe donation of 1,500 shoes for his alma mater’s 100th anniversary shoe drive to benefit the Los Angeles Union Rescue Mission. As part of the university’s yearlong centennial celebration, Biola has initiated a campaign, “Steps from Hope Shoe Drive,” with the L.A. Union Rescue Mission, the largest mission of its kind, to donate shoes for underprivileged families in Los Angeles County. The Union Rescue Mission is located only steps from Biola’s founding location on Sixth and Hope Streets.

Biola’s connection to the Union Rescue Mission began with Lyman Stewart, who founded both the Union Rescue Mission in 1891 and Biola University in 1908. Stewart, known for his philanthropy, initiated Biola as a place to train and equip men and women to serve and impact the world. One hundred years later, Biola still celebrates its rich commitment to the city.

The shoe drive will culminate on April 5 at a downtown block party hosted by Biola University. The carnival-like event will feature live entertainment and activities for the whole family, and also be an opportunity for the Biola community to serve underprivileged families of Los Angeles.


Biola University, founded in 1908, will celebrate 100 years of biblically centered Christian education on February 24. Located in La Mirada, Calif., on the border of LA and Orange Counties, Biola is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “National University,” which they consider the “major leagues” of higher education. Biola offers 145 academic programs through its seven schools, ranging from the B.A. to the Ph.D. For more information, visit

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