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Springfield Teen Provides Shoes for Entire Elementary

SPRINGFIELD -- John Sharp, 17, treated every student at Robberson Elementary to some brand new footwear.

Thanks to an ambitious young man, every little foot at Robberson Elementary School was given a new pair of shoes to be laced up.

Many teenagers are often preoccupied with how they look, but John Sharp is a 17-year-old who is looking out for children by starting his own non-profit called "Just for Kicks", which is in its third year. 

Sharp co-founded the organization with his older sister who is a sophomore at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

The spark that started his non-profit "Just for Kicks" was seeing kids run around with old shoes or flip flops on the playground at the Boys and Girls Club where he and his sister volunteered.

Like many great ideas, they started small. 

"We originally started with a class, but we sent out flyers and fund raised a little bit and we got enough money to do the whole school, kindergarten through fifth grade. A lot of kids have been coming and going in the schools, but we'll give everyone by the end of the day a new pair of shoes," says Sharp. 

Sharp gathered monetary donations and took the time to make sure each pair was a perfect fit. 

"A few weeks ago, my sister, my dad, and my aunt helped and we measured each individual kid and they got to pick their style of shoes, kind of like shopping. Now they get to see which shoes they picked a couple of weeks ago," says Sharp.  

John is a year round athlete at Greenwood Laboratory School. His dad Frank says to forward his cause, John has found the time -- and space.

"36 boxes of shoes --  with multiple boxes of shoes in each box -- they were all over our garage and our kitchen. He'd come home, get his homework done and then we'd work on shoes for a couple hours," Frank says.

You would have thought it was Christmas morning today at Robberson Elementary, and John can't help but smile when seeing his work come to fruition. 

"Right when you see them, it's a lot of excitement and then joy for all the work that I've done to organize this, but really just joy and happiness to see that each kid gets a new pair of shoes." 

Even after John is gone from Greenwood School, his dad Frank says there is a plan to keep things running. 

"We want to keep this going, even after he graduates, there is already talk of some other Greenwood students taking it over and continuing this process," says Frank. 

90% of the students at Robberson qualify for free or reduced lunch. 

Under Armour gave them a discount on their bulk order. 

The organization has raised more than $25,000, and has provided over 600 pairs of shoes for Robberson students. 
 


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