EL PASO, Texas -- Drew Frank, 13, recently had his bar mitzvah. In lieu of gifts, he asked for cash donations. What he did with that cash is what has everyone talking.
When Drew tallied up all of his gifts, he had $25,000. He didn’t keep any of that money for himself. Instead, he donated it to a charity to give away shoes. A lot of shoes.
In collaboration with the Braden Aboud Foundation, he purchased 800 pairs of Nikes and 800 pairs of socks. Over 400 pairs of those shoes were donated to a public elementary school in a lower-income neighborhood. The other shoes will go to a local orphanage and a YWCA transitional living center for women and children.
The Braden Aboud Foundation has been giving away shoes at yearly events since 2008. Founder Cindi Aboud tells USA Today that the organization usually raises money through sponsored events and business donations. This is the first time they’ve coupled with a single person to purchase the shoes.
“Drew and his family approached us about doing something together,” says Cindi. “My hope is that our foundation will be able to one day get the sponsorship of Nike or another big shoe retailer to partner with us so we can buy more shoes.”
While most boys keep their bar mitzvah gifts for themselves, Drew is happy he was able to share his.
“I’m giving sneakers to these kids who may otherwise not have new sneakers,” he says. “They just get shoes that have been passed down from generation to generation. I just wanted to give back to these kids who are less fortunate than me.”