NEW ORLEANS — From the street, it looks like Santa has made an early stop at Humidity Skate shop. But the stacks of toys piled in the window are part of owner Phillip Santusuosso’s pandemic-era solution to selling limited-edition Nike Dunks.
“It’s been amazing,” said Santosuosso. He says typically, when his shop receives the limited number of in-demand shoes, he’d have lines of people out the door hoping to get a pair.
This year, though, he and his employees thought outside of the box.
“We were like, hey, what could we do to give back to the community? So, we decided to come up with the toy drive.”
Now, Humidity has started to pull raffle tickets for a chance to buy the few pairs of the sneakers available. But buyers have to donate first.
The first gift donated has to be worth more than one dollar, and every ten dollars spent after that earns an additional raffle ticket.
Saturday, the shoes will go to the lucky buyers and the toys will go to Excite All Stars and Son of a Saint.
There are bikes, skateboards, Build A Bear stuffed animals, and someone even dropped off an X-Box worth an estimated $850.
The turnout – while overwhelming, in a good way, Santosuosso says – isn’t surprising. The last raffle for shoes called for food donations around Thanksgiving, and the results were tremendous.
“We ended up getting like, over 5,000 cans. It was unbelievable. We donated them all to the mission. We had to rent a uHaul. The store was literally for like four days, full of cans,” he said.
In a way, Humidity has turned sneakerheads into local philanthropists, and made Christmas a little brighter for families who most certainly need it this year.
“The sneaker community, skate community being able to give back in our own way feels good,” he said.
There’s one more drive and shoe raffle coming up before the end of the year. You can find out about it on Humidity’s social media pages.