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Wednesday June 22, 2016 at 4:12pm Age: 1 year
Category: District, Middle School

MIDDLE SCHOOLER LAUNCHES OWN CHARITY ON SHOE STRINGS


“My friends call me sneakerhead,” reads the GoFundMe page “KidsGetKicks” created by 14-year-old Michael Keenan, who just finished 8th grade at Minisink Valley. So it was no surprise that shoes were not far from Michael’s mind while brainstorming a community service project for his confirmation class at Holy Cross Church. He ultimately decided to combine his desire to do good with his passion for shoes. 

 

Recognizing that not all kids are privileged enough to look at shoes as a collectible item – as Michael is known to do – he launched his own online charity – KidsGetKicks – on GoFundMe.com, the world’s largest fundraising site for personal causes and life-events. Turning to friends, family and social media to promote his cause, Michael began raising money to buy sneakers, shoes and boots for underprivileged kids.  After shopping around for a retailer that would enhance his fundraising with a favorable deal, he decided on Modell’s in Middletown. The store validated Michael’s efforts with a 15 percent discount and a $200 store credit.

 

Having reached his fundraising goal of $1,500, Michael worked with Minisink Valley’s social workers, nurses and support staff to identify students in need and their sizes. Michael’s initiative resulted in the purchase 72 pairs of shoes that were distributed to students throughout the school district.

 

While KidsGetKicks was first spurred by a community service requirement, Michael found it fulfilling to help others in his community and he plans to continue making a difference through his online charity.