Some students at seven schools in the Plano, Richardson, and Allen independent school districts are walking a little taller with the help of some new shoes.
"I was noticing a lack of quality shoes in the gym," Tanner Craven said.
Craven coaches varsity football at Lake Highlands. His wife, Courtney Craven, is a physical education teacher in the Plano ISD. Together they started a local Soles for Souls charity to collect athletic shoe donations for students in need.
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"It was honestly a dream that Tanner had. He woke up and told me, 'You know, I had this crazy dream that we were gonna start this nonprofit organization called Soles for Souls,'" Courtney Craven said. "When COVID hit we had nothing else going on except to make this happen."
They started with a holiday shoe drive. With the help of their church, City Point, they collected 80 pairs of athletic shoes. The couple recently completed a spring drive, collecting another 275 shoes. Each comes with a prayer card in the box.
"It's to give them hope," Tanner Craven said. "Life life to the fullet and show all the joy that kids should show."
"And we also want to make sure that the kids know they have a purpose in life, and they can set goals and they can accomplish them." Courtney Craven added.
The couple said new shoes make a different in how a student carries him/herself.
"Oh man, their whole face lights up," Courtney Craven said.
The Cravens said there is an ongoing need for new shoes, so they hope to build a stockpile to meet the needs of students in the future.
You can see updates and shoe drive information on their Facebook page here.