Jackson High School student Evan Wilson is taking time out to collect used cleats, tennis shoes and other athletic shoes (and used equipment) for those youth and high school students who might need a pair of good shoes to wear while competing
JACKSON TWP. Evan Wilson, a junior at Jackson High School, has a busy schedule filled with c
ompleting his academic and sports activities at school. But Wilson is taking time out to collect used cleats, tennis shoes and other athletic shoes (and used equipment) for those youth and high school students who might need a pair of good shoes to wear while competing.
This is the sixth year Wilson and his family have led the collection efforts. The entire family gets involved including mom and dad, Tammi and Jim; brother Coen; and sister Miah. Together, they make up cardboard boxes to put in all of Jackson Local schools and in the front office in the high school.
They are collecting used shoes and equipment through Nov. 22. The shoes collected will be donated to an organization called Hands on Sports Foundation for distribution to youth and adolescent athletes who need better shoes to wear when competing in sports. Shoes also go to students in inner cities including Akron and Cleveland and to those in Central and South America.
“I’ve played soccer against kids who had terrible shoes on and using terrible equipment, so I wanted to find a way to help them get some decent shoes,” Wilson said.
He added that they are asking for all sizes of shoes from those worn by kids age four to sizes 11 or 12. The shoes can be any brand, color or in any condition as long as they are not falling apart.
Last year, Project Retread collected 300 pairs of shoes and has collected 1,800 pairs over the past five years.
“I pick the shoes up every Friday from the collection boxes,” Wilson said. “My futbol coach, Otto Orf, helped me get the collection started and he helped get the project built up. He also takes the shoes for Hands on Sports Foundation and helps distribute them to kids,” Evan said. “I just want to encourage everyone to take their used athletic shoes that don’t fit any more to one of the collection boxes so they can be donated to someone who needs those shoes.”