By Kerrigan Peoples
Lace up your sneakers on Saturday, May 4, 2019 for Sneakerball: a charity event full of fashion, fun, games—and goodwill.
“Sneakerball is a party with a purpose” says Yohannan Terrell, a main organizer of Sneakerball, who advises participants to wear a nice outfit and try to match it best as you can with a fun pair of sneakers.
Sneakerball is partnering with Franklin County Children Services to bring more than 1,000 pairs of shoes to families all over Franklin County.
“Having a good pair of shoes means a lot,” says Terrell. “It gives a child more confidence in themselves, and it keeps them from getting picked on.”
In addition to fashion fun, Sneakerball will feature live music, live art, and a basketball game. The proceeds will go towards funding the cause and buying shoes. The national event was brought to Columbus by a group of people who saw it in Chicago. They added a twist to the fun with the distribution of shoes.
“Through our research in places like New York and L.A., we saw that the shoes were given out in a traditional way like being picked up at a shelter,” says Terrell. “We also saw that this brought up a lot of negative feelings in youth about being poor.”
To banish these negative feelings about receiving free shoes—and making the process less dreadful—the Columbus group of Sneakerball innovators created the Sneaker Boutique. The Sneaker Boutique will be a little Sneakerball pop-up store. Invitations will be sent to homes of youth in need telling them that they’ve won a free pair of shoes and to pick them up at the Sneaker Boutique.
“Kids will feel like winners,” says Terrell. “And they will feel proud of themselves instead of feeling ashamed for being poor.”
The Sneakerball team and Franklin County Children Services wants to distribute 1,000 pairs of shoes. You can help by buying tickets to the Sneakerball event, donating at columbussneakerball.com, donating a pair of shoes, or promoting the event.
“Sneakerball this year has a Columbus way of doing things,” says Terrell. “All inclusive and serving the community in innovative ways.”
For more information about Sneakerball and how to get involved, visit columbussneakerball.com.