'Shoes For Two': Austin High athlete donates basketball shoes to local kids
Austin High senior Lucas Renfroe still remembers his first pair of basketball shoes -- a brand new pair of Nike HyperDunks.
“Whenever I first laced them up I was 10 or 11 years old and I was like ‘man I can dunk now!’” Lucas Renfroe said.
Fast forward to a seemingly insignificant day more than five years later, long after he’d grown out of those shoes. Lucas and his father, Mark, were relaxing at home watching the ESPN feature “The Son of Congo” about NBA center Serge Ibaka and his charity work in his native Congo. Then something caught their eyes.
“It cutaway to this 15-year-old kid playing basketball with no shoes or with really bad torn up shoes.” Lucas's father, Mark Renfroe, explained.
“We both kind of looked over to each other, ‘I wonder if there’s an organization where we can help that kid out and get him some shoes’, and we kind of looked online a little bit and there was nothing there. And that’s when the lightbulb went off.” Lucas Renfroe added.
And just like that, the “Shoes for Two” organization was born. Father and son joining forces to gather basketball shoes for local kids in need.
“When you see a kid get a good pair of shoes that really needs them, then just run out the door with the bone it’s a great thing. It’s a beautiful thing.” Mark Renfroe said.
The organization accepts any donation of lightly used athletic shoes. The Renfroes clean the shoes then box them up to be gifted to children locally in Texas as well as abroad in countries such as Mexico and Brazil.
“There are gonna be kids in Brazil that have shoes to go play on the outdoor courts of Brazil because of what we did here at Austin High and that feels really neat.” Austin High head boy's basketball coach Brad Ingram explained.
The Maroons have all bought in taking trips to schools around the Austin area with each stop providing a reminder of how one small deed can go a long way.
“You don’t know what kind of situation those kids are leaving whenever they leave their door, but whenever they leave ours we know that they’re leaving with something that’s means a lot to them.” Lucas Renfroe explained.
Since it’s inception, the organization has donated hundred of shoes, but as for that very first pair of kicks...
“Those original HyperDunks, they’re out there somewhere in the ether - somebody’s wearing them.”
More information on how to donate can be found at shoesfortwo.org.