Family behind Al's Shoe Repair Shop in Mount Prospect filling truck to help Kentucky tornado victims

Help them fill up 'Kindness for Kentucky' truck parked outside of Melrose Park church

Mark Rivera Image
Thursday, December 16, 2021
Family behind shoe repair shop filling truck to help Ky. storm victims
After nearly closing during the pandemic, the family behind a Al's Shoe Repair in Mt. Prospect is calling for your help for Kentucky tornado victims.

MELROSE PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- After nearly closing during the pandemic, the family behind a Mt. Prospect shoe repair shop is calling for your help. Not for themselves, but for the victims of the deadly tornadoes in Kentucky.

A few months ago, Larry DeAngelo and his family didn't know how his business would survive.

"Well, my business basically died, the shoe repair business," he said.

RELATED | Al's Shoe Repair opens at Mount Prospect train station after pandemic nearly forced it to close

But after the Mount Prospect community and strangers across the country stepped in to help, DeAngelo's Al's Shoe Repair Shop, named for his father, had a triumphant reopening this summer, saved from a pandemic shuttering, and now the family is giving back.

"How are we going to pay this forward for everything that these people that we don't even know did for our family and when this happened, we were like, this is how we're going to do it," said Angela DeAngelo, Kindness for Kentucky organizer.

DeAngelo, one of Larry's daughters, says they are gathering toiletries, supplies, Christmas presents, and anything else they can to help victims of the deadly tornadoes in Kentucky. When her family needed help, people in Kentucky stepped up to buy crosses and other faith items DeAngelo shared online to help keep the shoe repair business afloat.

"We started making bracelets, keychains, rosaries, all different things with the crosses, and one of the states that stuck out to us the most was Kentucky," she said.

Now they're putting their efforts into their "Kindness for Kentucky" truck parked outside of St Paul Lutheran Church in Melrose Park.

RELATED | How to help tornado victims: American Red Cross, Western Kentucky relief fund accepting donations

"We've been blessed, so we bless. That's the idea," said Jim Kraven, St. Paul Lutheran Congregation Chairman.

DeAngelo said it's their small way of saying thank you and bringing comfort during such a trying time.

"If we could get this truck filled from top to bottom, I know these people would be more than grateful," she said.

DeAngelo said she hopes to fill the truck, donated by D&M Trucking owner Joe McCarthy, and send it off by Sunday.

You can get in touch with her through her Facebook page.