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Danbury Student Athletes Get Shoe Recycling Project Up And Running

Leah Sarkisian and Daniel Nichols
Leah Sarkisian and Daniel Nichols Photo Credit: Contributed

DANBURY, Conn. — Two members of the track team at Danbury High realized that as runners, they have a shoe problem. They replace their training shoes often — but the shoes often still have a lot of life left in them.

Leah Sarkisian and Daniel Nichols, who are both DHS juniors, are hosting a Soles4Souls fundraiser at the FCIAC championship track meets next week. The shoe drive will give those unwanted but still usable shoes to people in need.

The inspiration came from Daniel’s mom, who says she’s constantly buying new running shoes for him.

But the kids took the idea — and ran with it.

"Distance runners especially are recommended to get new trainers every 200 to 400 miles, and that means we have lots of used shoes that don't do anyone any good sitting in a pile in our closets," Leah said. "That's why I think this is a great idea: People can get rid of their used sneakers while benefiting people who could really use them."

The public is invited to donate shoes, which will go to Soles4Souls.

The shoes go for free to children and adults worldwide who suffer from the ramifications of walking barefoot — including illnesses from soil parasites and the inability to attend school or work.

Any sneakers that are more than gently used will be recycled and made into new tracks and playgrounds.

All gently used sneakers/shoes can be dropped off at the FCIAC Track Championships on Monday, May 22, for girls at Greenwich High School or Tuesday, May 23, for boys at Ridgefield High School.

All donated shoes should be washed and dried. Students, parents and anyone attending the meet are invited to bring along shoes to donate.

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