The Nike Summer Shoes program kicked off in New Orleans, La., yesterday with a free pair of shoes for every middle and high school student in the city, a donation of more than 13,000 pairs of trainers and high tops. At a gymnasium ceremony, piles of shoe boxes coaxed excitement from teens, many of whom had lost everything in the hurricane two years ago…
New Orleans Saints running back Deuce McAllister, was on hand to inspire local teens to get active over summer break. “People are caring about you,” said McAllister, wearing a black T-shirt designed with the word ‘Rebuild.’ “You just have to do your part by hitting the books and staying out of trouble.”
The Nike program is set to distribute athletic shoes to kids in 21 cities nationwide over the summer, through a partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association. More than 60,000 shoes, worth about $6 million, will be donated to kids encouraging them to get outside and play.
Other cities include: Los Angeles, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; New York, N.Y.; Chicago, Ill.; Baltimore and Prince George’s County, Md.; Dallas and Austin, Texas; Atlanta, Ga.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Orlando, Miami, Tampa and Jacksonville, Fla.; Nashville, Tenn.; Boston, Mass.; Milwaukee County, Wis.; Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.; and Portland, Ore.
“The NikeSummerShoes program is an expression of our collective belief in the power of sport to change the lives of young people,” said Kathy Spangler, director or National Partnerships for NRPA. “With this incredible donation from Nike, we will supply every teen in New Orleans with inspiration and opportunity. It is amazing what one pair of shoes can do for a child. Now, think of the benefits of that, multiplied by all of the cities involved in this program over the summer.”