In an era when sneaker prices are rising faster than LeBron James driving for a dunk (there are more than 30 types of Nike sneakers alone that carry four-figure price tags!), Dan Safranek has his sights on a different segment of the footwear universe.
He is looking for used footwear – more accurately, gently used footwear (or, of course, new) – shoes, sneakers, boots, or sandals; any brand; either gender; and, most important, for children through age 12. New socks too, to donate with the shoes.
An area retail store manager, Dan is midway through his 2013 drive for footwear, which ends Saturday, September 7.
His mission, and he’s been joined by two friends, one in California, the other in New Jersey, via their common mission:”A love for sneakers and a commitment to help as many kids as possible.”
The love for sneakers ties back to their sneakerhead culture, based on collecting sneakers. But they’ve transformed from simply sneaker collectors to sneaker collectors AND donators.
Which is what brought him to Cradles to Crayons, the regional organization that addresses the poverty faced by more than one in five children, birth to age 12, in Greater Philadelphia by collecting and providing new and nearly new daily essentials that children need to thrive – at home, at school and at play.
“These are children from low-income families or from homeless situations,” Dan said, “many of whom can’t attend school or play outside with their friends – do things that their peers take for granted – because they simply don’t have proper footwear.
“And, while we don’t want shoes or sneakers, for example, that have holes in them or are torn,” he added, “how often, when children have outgrown their shoes, do we just toss those perfectly good sneakers, loafers and sandals into the trash?
“The need if too urgent to let this happen,” Dan said. “’Lace Up the Kids’ provides an easy way to ‘recycle’ the footwear to children who need them most.”
Anyone interested can send their new or gently used footwear to Daniel Safranek, 1970 Veterans Highway, M19, Levittown, PA 19056. Dan can be contacted at email@example.com.