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Senior Paints Sneakers, Raises Money for Non-Profit Organization
Through the sales of shoes that she paints, M. Mourmoutis ’21 raises money to support her former Hesed site. Mourmoutis uses her artistic talent to paint Nike and Adidas sneakers.

“I started designing and painting shoes in late June,” Mourmoutis explained. “I have an Instagram account (@mels_brand) where I post pictures of all of my designs, and when people want to order a pair, they message me. The person can either give me a pair of shoes that they already own, or I can order the shoes for them. I then paint the design they chose, and I ship the shoes to them.”

Working out of a station she set up in her house, Mourmoutis has figured out a system so that the paint will stay intact through many wears. “To start, I apply an alcohol based solution to get rid of the seal on the leather so that the paint will stick better,” she explained. “Then I use special leather paints for the designs. When I am finished, I apply a seal so that the paint does not smudge.”

Mourmoutis has donated all of the profits from painting and selling the sneakers to the WARM Center in Westerly, Rhode Island, her Hesed project site. The mission of the WARM Center is to “Provide a continuum of care and service to the homeless and needy by providing affordable housing and assuring supportive services, and to help the homeless and needy build self-esteem and move toward independent and responsible living.”

“Since I loved my experience there so much, I was planning to volunteer there last summer,” she said. “But, because of COVID, they were not taking any volunteers. When I volunteered, they were in the running to win a grant and were upset at the end of the summer when they did not receive it. As a result I decided to raise money for them.”

Between late June to August, Mourmoutis raised $1,200 for the WARM Center and continues to do so.