SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) - A Syracuse man is making this holiday season a little merrier for people in need.
For three years, Ralph Rotella has collected and repaired old shoes to donate to people at the Rescue Mission.
This year, because of the big hearts of Central New Yorkers, more than a thousand people will be touched by this donation drive.
Rotella has transformed his passion for repairing shoes into a gift for people he's never even met.
"A lot of people walk down the street, unfortunate people with torn shoes, their soles are coming out, their heels are worn out, their feet are sticking out of their shoes and I said I have to do something about it," said Rotella.
So he started collecting shoes right before the holidays.
He fixes the soles, heels and even shines the shoes.
When he started the shoe drive he only collected about 60 pairs.
The next year, a little more, but this year he wants to raise the bar.
"This year my goal was 1,000 pairs and two months ago when we got 1,000 pairs I said I want to shoot for 2,000," said Rotella.
Thanks to his devoted customers, he doesn't have far to go.
The shoes will be delivered to the Rescue Mission Monday morning at 10:00 a.m.