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Big Brothers, Big Sisters; Big shoes to fill, buy

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Posted at 5:30 AM, Oct 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-11 10:57:58-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — It’s easy to say, "Walk a mile in my shoes," when they’re nice and sturdy. Or when there’s someone who’s walking the path with you.

Tiffany and Miracle, Charles and Sean are all “Bigs and “Littles” in Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City. Being in the program has given them all a step up, and fortunately, they have something to step “out” in.

Sean, for example, is a freshman at William Jewell where he’s playing football.

“A lot of guys wear the pink cleats for breast cancer awareness,” Sean said.

But he wears them all year round.

“I’ll wear a pair of cleats until the tread falls off, quite literally sometimes,” Sean said.

When he’s not in cleats, he’s in comfy footwear.

For Miracle, a dancer, comfortable footwear is a must, and like most teens, she loves to spend money.

“I love to shop. I love clothes, I love shoes. I have Vans. I have like three pairs,” Miracle said.

Unfortunately, there are young people that barely have one pair of decent, properly fitting shoes.

Markelia Phillips is a counselor at Lee A. Tolbert Academy and sees the need daily.

“It took a kid coming to school with some football cleats, and when I saw him, I asked him, 'Why are you wearing those shoes?' And he said, 'It’s because my other shoes have holes in them,'" Phillips said. "We service a lot of homeless students at our school. A lot of kids come to our school with holes in their shoes, shoes that are too tight.”

So, when you hear someone say, "Walk a mile in my shoes," hopefully with your help they can do so with comfort and confidence.

“Before you can meet any kind of need, you have to meet a kid’s basic need,” Phillips said. “And shoes are a basic need, just like shelter and food and clothes.”

To help KSHB 41 provide hundreds of pairs of sneakers to teens in our community, click here.