SAVES by B
News coverage of the devastating earthquake two years ago in Haiti first opened my eyes to how many thousands of young people walk around without shoes. I have since learned that this is a problem that is not unique to Haiti, but is shared by many different countries all over the world. It’s sad to say, but I have also learned that we have this problem right here in the United States. As a result of tough economic times, many families are being forced to choose between shoes and sneakers for their children. Many kids don’t have sneakers and others are being asked to wear them even after they have become too small or worn out because parents cannot afford to replace them. In many places here and throughout the world parents forgo buying sneakers entirely, thinking of sneakers more as a luxury than a necessity.
I am a lover of sneakers. In 9th grade English class I wrote an essay that detailed why I had a passion for sneakers. In short, I loved researching the newest models, trying on the various styles and brands, and selecting that one pair that I thought would help me excel in sports, and still look good, all at the same time. I loved the confidence that each new pair of sneakers brought to my psyche. While ultimately I was the one performing on the athletic fields, it was my sneakers that allowed me to take those first steps.
An idea was born. Combine my love of sneakers and design with a recognized need to provide sneakers for young people who could not afford them or had no access to them. While there are other companies that focus on shoes, my focus would be limited to sneakers; with a particular emphasis on kids and teenagers. Ask any kid -- kids need sneakers. It is not a luxury, it is a necessity. It is what encourages us to try to run faster, jump higher, try out for the team, or to pick up a basketball in the park. It is part of our DNA.
Unlike other footwear programs, mine is relatively simple. For every one pair of sneakers you buy- you are extending your hand to someone else in need and providing them with that exact same style of sneaker. There is no difference in design, quality or durability. All the sneakers are exactly the same. That similarity is what joins the giver with the receiver. That is the link that joins us closer together as people. By extending our hand to someone in need, we are reminding them, as well as ourselves, that we are all in this together. Today I may be the giver; however, one day I may need the assistance. Conversely, those who receive today will know that when their conditions improve, they may be asked to be the giver. The more I see what is going on in the world, the more I realize that we kids are the future, so we must learn to develop programs and ideas that reach out our hands to those who need a hand to grab onto. It is time to stop waiting for someone else to do it.
Our first shipment of SAVES by B will arrive in February. On February 23 we will be having a launch event at 404 located at 404 10th Avenue in New York City. For every pair of SAVES sold that evening a pair of SAVES will be donated to Hoops 4 Hope and K.I.D.S. (Kids in Distressed Situations).
Hoops 4 Hope is a non-profit organization which gives over 10,000 children in South Africa and Zimbabwe every year a better chance to beat the odds in disadvantaged communities plagued by poverty, HIV/AIDS, drugs and crime. Hoops 4 Hope is a leader in providing sustainable programs for empowerment and positive change of youth by enabling children to play, learn and succeed through playing basketball and soccer in organized teams, league and outreach programs. As Siphe Dube explained it “Most kids have grown up playing basketball without a pair of sneakers and have never owned a pair. So when they receive a pair to play in it is more than a pair of sneakers, it is more a symbol of hope in their lives.”
Kids in Distressed Situations’ (K.I.D.S.) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide new, brand name, clothes, shoes, undergarments, books, toys, furnishings, baby gear and other items to children and families challenged by poverty, homelessness, domestic abuse, low literacy, military family service, major illness, incarcerated family members and disaster survival. Founded in response to the famine in Ethiopia in 1985, every year K.I.D.S. brings hope to over 5 million children in need, and has brought smiles to more than 75 million individuals by distributing over one billion dollars’ worth of new merchandise throughout this country and overseas, since its inception. Dr. Janice Weinman, the president of K.I.D.S. reflecting on the first time she distributed Scholastic books to needy children living on an Indian Reservation, said “The children were literally hugging the books. It is moments like these that underscore the importance and impact of an organization like K.I.D.S
Met Council Met Council is the voice of the Jewish poor and the first line of defense for our community’s needy. We fight poverty through comprehensive social services and treat every individual with dignity and respect. Our grassroots Jewish Community Council network strengthens families and neighborhoods throughout New York City.
Thank you so much for your support.
Founder: SAVES by B