Passing Lessons, One Pair at a Time
The founding of our organization began in 2017, when a teacher in the Fairborn City School District told me there was a child wearing football cleats to school. Upon hearing this I knew I had to do something to help, and I also wondered how many other kids at the school were in similar situations with their footwear. I reached out to the principal of the school and informed her I wanted to do something to help this student, and any others who also lacked proper shoes.
After getting all the information from the principal of the school, I went to my local Nike Outlet store and originally purchased the necessary pairs of shoes essential to meeting the needs of 13 students. When I arrived at the school and started to give each student their sneakers, I realized not only were they in need of these shoes, they needed socks as well. Three of the students weren't even wearing socks when I gave their shoes to them. It was difficult to process how these students traveled to and from school without socks during December in Ohio. This first experience of giving further opened my eyes to a problem no child should have to go through, and I wanted to do more to find a solution.
Since our first donation, Just a Pair of Shoes has slowly been able to provide more pairs of shoes to multiple children throughout the school district. We decided to narrow our focus on providing pairs of shoes to mainly fourth through sixth-grade students. This age group goes through many life transitions during this time and is also the period in which bullying is most prevalent.
In 2019 we officially became a nonprofit organization, Just a Pair of Shoes, and are currently working on getting approved for our 501c3. It is our hope we can continue to reach out to more schools in the area during 2020 and beyond.
We believe that what we can provide is more than just a pair of shoes. The shoes are a vehicle to drive home a message to young students. That message is filled with encouragement, compassion, and passing on a success-oriented mindset to propel them forward to brighter futures.
To us, it's always been more than a pair of shoes.