By Kevin Beaty, Denverite | Anthony Porch’s family made the news when he was a kid. But it wasn’t for positive reasons.
“My mom, she made the newspaper because, basically, how broke she was. She was a single mom. She had five kids. My siblings and I were sharing coats,” he said last week, standing in a recording studio at Colfax Avenue and Depew Street.
After the story came out, a woman named Jackie from Florida started sending them necessities.
“I started calling her my auntie,” Porch said.
Porch never laid eyes on the woman who supported his family from afar, but her kindness stuck with him. Decades later, after he moved to Denver and became established in the metro’s hip-hop scene, he still feels an obligation to pay it forward.
Last year, e-commerce entrepreneur Stephen McMillon approached Porch with a proposition. McMillon has been working to build a brand centered on comfortable, stylish footwear, and he wanted to see if Porch – who goes by “AP” on his records – would be interested in putting his name on a new product. Under his brand, Koncrete Eden, McMillon successfully sold a line of sneakers with another local musician, and he thought Porch could be part of his next big collaboration.
But Porch didn’t think he had the fanbase to rally sales. And besides, he had other ideas on his mind. Instead of making a sneaker for sale, Porch suggested that he and McMillon try to raise money and give shoes away to people in need.
“I thought it was brilliant,” McMillon recalled. “Especially during this pandemic, where there doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of hope right now, I think this would be something big and huge to be able to give hope back to the community.”
Last week, Porch and McMillon launched a crowdfunding campaign for their “Denver Shoe Project” with the ambitious goal of raising $75,000. They hope to use the cash to manufacture 1,500 pairs of Koncrete Eden sneakers and boots that they’ll distribute to people experiencing homelessness and families struggling in this difficult moment.
Both men are pursuing their passions through this project.
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