In a press release on Thursday, Manchester Police reported that the Manchester Police Athletic League (MPAL) had welcomed Portsmouth High School sophomore Sam Vitale and his family for a special visit on Wednesday, December 11, 2013. Sam brought dozens of donated athletic shoes and other footwear with him in hopes that MPAL kids could put them to good use.
Police said Sam began his “Shoe Support” sneaker drive in October, challenging students at middle schools in Greenland, Rye and Portsmouth to donate gently used sneakers. Sam targeted middle school students, recognizing that at that particular stage in life, many grow through shoes and clothing much faster than they wear them out. The large majority of the donated shoes are practically brand new and still have a lot of wear left in them.
This is Sam’s second Shoe Support drive. Last year, Sam and his father John Vitale drove to Staten Island to deliver sneakers to the Staten Island Police Athletic League following super storm Sandy, which had devastated that area. This year, Sam sought to keep his donations closer to home and reached out to the Manchester Police Athletic League, requesting MPAL assist in distributing the donated footwear to kids in need. Sam’s paternal grandfather gave him the idea. He had shared stories with his family of his fond childhood memories participating in his local Police Athletic League in the Bronx.
The press release stated, the Manchester Police Department, together with MPAL, wants to thank Sam for his efforts. “It is great to see such tremendous and generous community support reach beyond the Greater Manchester area in an effort to sustain such worthwhile programming.”
Source: Manchester Police Department
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