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Format: 04/17/2014
Format: 04/17/2014


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Doctor's family provides shoes for homeless

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

By Pohla Smith, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Each year on the day before Thanksgiving, a charity run by local orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon Stephen Conti and his family gives new shoes to homeless people and provides them with free foot care.

This past year, the Contis' Our Hearts to Your Soles, working with a Nashville, Tenn.-based charity called Soles4Souls and Minneapolis manufacturer Red Wing Shoes, gave 8,000 pairs of work boots to homeless people in 41 states.

Locally, some 400 Pittsburgh people who gathered at Catholic Charities Free Health Care Center, Downtown, also got medical screenings and two pairs of socks. The latter came from a new charity, Socks2Soles, which was started by Dr. Conti's younger son, Chris, 16, a junior at North Allegheny High School. The rest of the family comprises Matt, 20, a junior at the University of Notre Dame; Laura, 18, a freshman also at Notre Dame; and their mother, Carol.

Dr. Conti, 51, of Franklin Park, is one of seven local finalists for the Most Outstanding Volunteer Award in the 2009 Jefferson Awards for Public Service program. The finalists will be honored at the Jefferson Awards reception and ceremony at Carnegie Music Hall on Feb. 11.

The winner will represent Western Pennsylvania at the national Jefferson Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., this summer. The program is administered locally by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette with the sponsorship of Highmark, the Pittsburgh Foundation and the Heinz Endowments.

The PNC Foundation will donate $1,000 to Our Hearts to Your Soles on behalf of Dr. Conti.

"Our Hearts to Your Soles is truly an inspired effort," said Stephanie Waite, media relations specialist for the West Penn Allegheny Health System and the person who nominated Dr. Conti for the Jefferson Awards competition.

Nice as they are, though, honors aren't what Dr. Conti is interested in.

"The first motivation I have is a tremendous desire to give back because I've been incredibly fortunate," he said. "I have one of the biggest orthopedic practices in the area. For that I feel truly blessed.

 To read more, visit the Post-Gazette website.

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