Running Shoes Needed for Kids - KOAM TV 7

Running Shoes Needed for Kids


If you're a runner and live in the four states, a children's center is in your need of show donations.

"I was just thinking when I was a kid about having a new, how excited I was about a new pair of shoes so I went up to Wendy about asking some question about when the kids graduate and how many and I said well what do you think about us buying them a new pair of shoes" says runner Donnie Gary.

Gary wants to share his passion with the kids at Turnaround Ranch, a residential care facility for adolescents with mental health problems.

"We have on average about 60 to 70 kids and they're usually here from about 6 to 9 months" says Wendy Jones, Turnaround Ranch operations supervisor.

Jones expressed the need of keeping the kids there physically fit, little did she know one conversation would lead to these drop off sites all over town.

Locations that are looking specifically for gently used or new running shoes, nothing torn up,  but something the kids can use to help them get interested in the sport.

"Most people know especially runners, what their shoes are worth, if they're really wore we don't want anyone getting injured but if they're good we'd like to have them" says Gary.

"A lot of our kids when they walk through the door, they have the clothes on their back and that's it and so we want to have things here so that we can clothe them so we can put shoes on them, so that all of their basic needs are met on top of having their mental health needs met" says Jones.

"Mostly what I'm excited about is, I look how running has changed my life and the difference it's made with me, it's given me a great outlet, a way to let go of things, what we can do is create, install, maybe inspire some of these kids to step into something they're not done and maybe this can be one of the things that can help change their lives" says Gary.

When kids graduate the program, Donnie Gary and his company Climate Technology will buy them a brand new pair of running shoes.

Thus far, about 20 pairs of shoes have been donated.

Turnaround Ranch also accepts monetary and regular clothing donations, like underwear and socks. 

To Donate here are a list of locations with drop off sites:


Turnaround Ranch is located at 1949 Snowberry Lane., Joplin, MO.

Starlit Running, Rufus Racing and the Joplin Road Runners are also collecting and donating to the cause.

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