Foothill High University junior Christopher Lee was a short while ago acknowledged by Pleasanton Mayor Karla Brown for his operate in arranging an ongoing shoe push.
Begun in 2020, the shoe generate was a way to marry his community service interests and his passion for tennis.
“In my freshman 12 months, I was essential to do volunteer do the job and had hassle discovering prospects in between tennis practice and homework,” reported 17-calendar year-old Christopher. “I discovered that I could volunteer from property by gathering and transport sneakers, especially due to the fact I went by so quite a few per year.”
Christopher explained he goes through multiple pairs of shoes just about every 12 months as a tennis player. What he discarded was nonetheless incredibly usable by somebody not actively playing tennis, so he seemed for approaches to keep his sneakers out of landfills. He began donating them to Soles4Souls and hoped to distribute his information of group company.
“I desired to share and carry on this exercise so that other pupils can support the natural environment, neighborhood and modern society,” claimed Christopher. “I expanded the shoe drive by partnering with the nonprofit Go Green Initiative to get learners group support hrs and a economical prize.”
Above the a few decades he has run the shoe push, Christopher has collected 2,239 pairs of footwear. He set assortment bins up at the Ruby Hill Tennis Club and at Rick’s Entire world of Tennis, a tennis shop in Fremont. By means of the bins and a social media campaign, Christopher distribute the word about the work he was accomplishing. He acquired a company sponsorship from Workday, securing $27,000 in grants to Soles4Souls, East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring (EPATT), Go Inexperienced Initiative, the Livermore Homeless Refuge, Foothill Large College and Razom for Ukraine. He also started collecting utilised tennis balls and old rackets to donate.
Considering that most tennis players only use tennis balls one to two times, they can speedily produce massive amounts of waste. Christopher started gathering the employed balls and sending them to RecycleBalls, which utilizes them to produce tennis court and playground resources and equestrian tracks. He also gathered outdated tennis rackets and despatched them to EPATT for underprivileged college students to find out to enjoy tennis.
Jill Buck is the founder and CEO of Pleasanton-based Go Green Initiative, a nonprofit devoted to advertising environmental health and fitness, basic safety and sustainability in universities. She has worked with Christopher throughout his large university profession and claimed his initiative is spectacular.
“One of the points I know about him is he’s often wanting for extra, what far more he can do to be valuable, so I seriously appreciate the gumption and initiative he has proven through the last a few yrs of this shoe generate,” reported Buck. “He browse about the influence of sending shoes to a landfill and the possibility of producing a different lifetime for all those shoes and that is the form of leader we will need and I’m actually very pleased of him.”
Rick Patton, proprietor of Rick’s Entire world of Tennis, expressed identical sentiments about Christopher’s push. He is encouraging Christopher get aged rackets and tennis balls and noted tennis ball repurposing has come a lengthy way.
“With tennis balls, individuals use them at the time or two times, and then they go into a landfill,” Patton reported. “Now they are building tennis courts applying floor up tennis balls or reproducing tennis balls, and it’s a entire good deal improved than dumping them into a land fill and polluting the earth. And folks really do not know what to do with outdated tennis rackets … so folks recycle their rackets right here and I deal with them up a very little bit … it’s for a fantastic cause.”
Christopher continues to operate on his good effect on the natural environment and local community, hoping to inspire his fellow learners to do the very same.
“I believe I attained my objectives, but I consider more can be done,” he stated. “My original intention in creating the shoe and tennis ball travel was to encourage children of all ages with group service and volunteerism. That was my hope producing this sort of travel and my hope was to get a lot more people today concerned to have a increased influence, so it is my hope that I encouraged learners and young ones to make their personal neighborhood assistance drives to have their very own neighborhood effects.”
Rick’s Entire world of Tennis is situated at 40067 Mission Blvd., Fremont. For a lot more information, get in touch with 510-656-3821. Donations to Soles4Souls can be made at soles4souls.org.