13-year-old holds sneaker drive to make sure his classmates have fresh kicks for school
August 26, 2016 at 8:30 am
When Zaire Downs saw one of his classmates being bullied for not having nice shoes, the Rochester, New York 7th grader decided to do something about it.
The 13-year-old student has spent the entire month of August collecting sneakers to make sure that when the first day of school comes around, everybody will have a fresh pair of kicks.
“It’s this boy in my school who gets bullied because he doesn’t have nice shoes,” Downs told 13 WHAM. “I feel bad for some kids who can’t afford them.” He went on to talk about the hardships that his peers were facing at home, including domestic violence, which prevented the parents from being able to purchase new shoes for their children. In the end, Downs, who wants to play for the NBA or go into politics someday, decided that no matter the cause, he was going to help.
So far, he has been able to collect 50 pairs of Nikes, Adidas and Jordans in all sizes. The campaign’s GoFundMe account has raised $1,120 so far, which will allow him to buy shoes for more students.
Downs’ mother, Tamara Leigh, said she’s not surprised her son has taken on this task.
“He’s so empathetic and compassionate,” said his mother. “He’s always been the kid who’d befriend the most popular kids and least popular kids.”
Downs will distribute the sneakers at a backpack giveaway on Saturday , August 27 at the Thomas P. Ryan Center in Rochester, New York.
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