He started his work with 400 toys to give out as an Eastside Wilmington, Delaware native, now he’s an advocate for thousands of children in the city. Meet LaDaye "Cooley" Johnson. Ladaye Johnson grew up in a neighborhood surrounded by crime, with just one parent, but found guidance and support from mentors and neighbors who believed in him. After getting shot at just age 14, their faith in him helped him stay away from trouble and inspired him to give back to his community.

LaDaye founded Cool Shoes Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free resources and support to economically disadvantaged youth and their families. LaDaye Johnson started Cool Shoes Inc. in 2010 to help children in Wilmington with events throughout the year including summer camps, Easter egg hunts, Thanksgiving turkey giveaways, and Christmas toy drives. He has distributed approximately 800 backpacks to children, 20 and 30 laptops, and nearly 900 turkeys to ensure families could enjoy Thanksgiving meals together. His annual toy drive collected 15,000 toys including 100 bikes for children in his community. He engages with the youth in his community as well, serving as a mentor and role model, inspiring young people to stay on the right path and pursue their dreams. LaDaye earned a Jefferson Award for Outstanding Community Service in 2020 for teaching local children the importance of hard work and community support.