WOODSTOCK, CT. (WFSB) - A cross-country athlete who personally understands the importance of a good running shoe is using her knowledge to help others have the shoes they need.
Julia Coyle attends Woodstock Academy as a junior. She is a cross-country runner at the school, who has loved running since middle school. Kids Injection
“I love it a lot. I think it’s a great sport. It builds a lot of character,” Julia said.
Julia tried recruiting others to run with her. However, she quickly learned that the cost to participate was a huge deterrent.
“It was because of shoes,” Julia stated. “They can’t meet the needs of replacing a pair of shoes every single time they need, because it’s expensive.”
This summer, she came up with the idea of a sneaker drive to collect donations new, used, or old sneakers.
“Everything in running revolves around your shoes. You need a pair of shoes for every new season,” Julia said.
By the Fall, she had a website up and running. Donation sneaker boxes were set up all around town.
To help Julia’s mission, her mom, Melissa Coyle, was right by her side.
About a month into the sneaker drive, Julia’s focus shifted drastically. This sneaker drive could have a much bigger impact.
Julia and her mom decided to not only collect sneakers for cross-country athletes, but also collect shoes for any child who needs a pair.
Melissa said, “it was an a-ha moment. That was just the far-reaching impact to be able to help other students that are not just looking to do sports.”
Since starting, the sneaker drive collected more than 200 pairs of shoes. Every pair donated has been distributed to local students in need.
“I think this is on-going as of right now for as long as people are continuing to donate sneakers,” Julia said. “Realizing I could make a difference with this has changed my motivation in the best way.”
It’s amazing to see how knowing a good pair of shoes can turn into something much bigger.
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