To everyone involved with Soles4Souls and Race with Purpose, I am writing to express my great appreciation and gratitude for the sneakers that was provided for my student-athletes. I am a new teacher, coach and athletic director at a new school here in the South Bronx. At Validus Preparatory Academy, where I am the Fitness Teacher, we focus on the health and fitness of our students. We are trying to encourage our students to find enjoyment in their own well-being and to engage in a physically active lifestyle.
The students on the cross country team were the first varsity student athletes to compete in NYC's Public School Athletic League. These students built a cross country team from scratch. They made a commitment to the team, set goals and they ran their hearts out nearly everyday of the week for 3 months. The team grew in numbers, fans and dreams as we raced each Saturday in Van Cortlandt Park, rain or shine. These kids earned the right to call themselves long distance runners. I am very proud and thankful for their commitment.
Many of these young runners started practice every day in a pair of old basketball sneakers or other unsuitable shoes. I encouraged them to try to find affordable upgrades, but it wasn't that simple. Thanks to your gift of shoes, you have helped them dedicate themselves to achieving their goals.
We will keep you posted as they participate in their first Indoor Track season this winter. They are excited to see what they can do with new sneakers on their feet and more miles under their belts. I also want to send a special thanks to Dave Edwards for being so kind and helpful in his coordination of the donation. He did a great job in presenting the sneakers and was even willing to get out there and race my kids! Thank you Sole4Souls and Race with Purpose! Keep up the great work!