Part of becoming a member of the Jewish community today also means taking on moral responsibilities and helping to repair the world. While volunteering at Cradles to Crayons, a local charity helping needy kids in the Philadelphia area, Brendan realized that the charity was in dire need of kids’ shoes, particularly boys’ athletic shoes. As a cross country runner himself, Brendan knows about the importance of good athletic shoes. During his volunteer sessions, he was saddened that there were no shoes in the sizes needed to complete orders requested from social workers.
From the Fall of 2012, right up until his Bar Mitzvah (Temple Sinai, Dresher, PA) on 3/2/2013, Brendan collected, organized and tagged over 950 pairs of shoes that he amassed through shoe drives at various locations. Even the baskets on the bimah at his Bar Mitzvah service were filled with brand new kids’ athletic shoes that were donated to Cradles to Crayons. The Cradles to Crayons staff was extremely grateful for Brendan’s efforts and would hug our family each time we dropped off a donation of shoes.
“It was such a fulfilling project for our whole family that we decided to host a shoe drive for every Fall for years to come.” Ilene Cantos, Brendan’s mom
“Brendan’s shoe collection has really taken off! I was rummaging for the right size shoes today and was having difficulty in filling some outstanding orders, so I am very grateful to Brendan for filling the need for these hard to find items. 900+ pairs collected is truly wonderful, and so desperately needed as the weather starts to turn colder and shoes become even more important. Thank you for your vision, your hard work and your enthusiasm. Thanks to Brendan for his drive, commitment and dedication to the children we serve, and for the very efficient and thorough manner in which he conducted this great collection.”
Michal Smith, Executive Director, Cradles to Crayons cradlestocrayons.org