Marlborough student ‘steps up’ to collect new sneakers

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Marlborough student ‘steps up’ to collect new sneakers
Isaac Ladas shows some of the donations for the Stepping Up sneaker drive he’s staging this summer. He wants to collect 300 pairs of brand-new sneakers in time for the start of the school year. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

MARLBOROUGH – Isaac Ladas knows what it’s like to not have good shoes.

Now a freshman at Marlborough High School, Ladas remembered wearing worn-out shoes and getting bullied for it.

He’s wearing better shoes now, and he wants others to have the same, especially for the first day of school.

“As you know, bullying is a big factor in kids going off to school every day. Some more than others. I see it every day in school and have seen it since I was approximately a second-grader,” said Ladas. “I don’t believe it’s fair that just because a family cannot afford school clothing that they should be bullied and picked on daily and sometimes even beat up.”

This summer, Ladas is staging Stepping Up, a sneaker donation program through the Marlborough Community Cupboard, which is part of the United Way of Tri-County Inc.

His goal: 300 pairs of brand-new sneakers that will be donated to the cupboard for distribution.

“My vision is to see that every student in the Marlborough school system will come to school wearing a brand-new pair of sneakers the first day,” he said.

As of June 12, Ladas has collected 50 pairs of sneakers. He has also received donations of sandals and boots, but he said sneakers are preferred.

Ladas would like to collect 125 pairs of kids sizes 12-13; 80 pairs of youth sizes 5-7; and 48 pairs of sizes 9-11.

Financial donations or volunteering some time will also be welcome. The deadline is Aug. 21.

Donation bins have been set up at the following locations – Assabet Valley High School, Marlborough High School, Whitcomb Middle School and Goodnow Elementary (until the end of the school year); Sts. Anargyroi Greek Orthodox Church and Mission Dispensaries at 640 Lincoln St. in Worcester; Crunch Fitness, 205 Washington St, Hudson; and Advanced Auto, 157 Washington St. in Hudson.

Several local businesses have been helping spread the word or providing donations, including Shaw’s, the Dollar Tree and Cumberland Farms, all in Hudson, along with The Boys and Girls Club, All Fresh convenience store, The Vin Bin, Roc’s Hair Salon, Midland Graphics, and the city’s police and fire departments.

“I feel like the community acting together and getting involved in this amazing project and including these local businesses will help us to come together and feel amazing about our city,” said Ladas.

Ladas is staging a car wash fundraiser at Navin Rink from noon to 5:30 p.m. on July 12 and 20. Cash donations or a brand-new pair of sneakers will be accepted.

For information, email [email protected]; or call 508-726-0989.

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