February 15th is World Pediatric Cancer Day and several schools across the region are raising money in a unique way to help kids with cancer. Dunk Your Kicks is the newest initiative launched by the Max Cure Foundation and the founders hope that it will teach kids philanthropy at an early age. Dunk Your Kicks asks children to drop their old sneakers into a Unity Bin at their schools. Each pair of sneakers donated by a child will generate roughly $1 for pediatric cancer causes. The sneakers themselves will be recycled or shipped off to impoverished countries where the children are in dire need of adequate footwear.
The Max Cure Foundation is a public charity founded in 2008, inspired by a 4 year-old boy’s will to battle the #1 disease killer of children in the county, cancer. The Foundation is dedicated to finding cures for pediatric cancers, funding the development of less toxic treatments for children with the disease, and assisting low-income families who have children battling cancer. Named for Max Plotkin, an 8 year-old cancer survivor, the Max Cure Foundation has already raised over $1.6mm for pediatric cancer causes through fundraising initiatives. Over $820k has been directed to the Max Cure Fund at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to underwrite a cell therapy lab dedicated to alternative cancer treatments for children. The lab is responsible for 65% of children who did not respond to chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments. The Foundation has also teamed up with the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation to offer an annual grant given to pediatric cancer researchers.
Max Cure has teamed up with former Knick Trent Tucker’s All 4 Kids Foundation, Paul Carrozza ( Dunk Your Kicks Ambassador), Unity (an education resources company), Rentacrate (a reusable plastic crate and moving equipment rental company), and Green Sneakers (an environmentally friendly company that raises funds by collecting old sneakers) to arrange for schools to implement the program and collect old sneakers. Their goal is to collect 500,000 pairs of old sneakers and raise $500,000 for pediatric cancer causes. David Plotkin, Chairman and Co-Founder of Max Cure states, “Giving back is not always about writing checks. It can be as easy as cleaning your closet or your parents’ closet.”
The Dunk Your Kicks campaign is easy to implement in any school or community around the country. Max Cure is looking for all schools to implement the Dunk Your Kicks program. They are reaching out to parents who can bring Dunk Your Kicks to the attention of their respective school administrators. The school that collects the most sneakers will receive a prize, but more importantly will take pride in the fact that they are helping to raise money to help children afflicted with cancer.
The campaign launched in Bergen County just four weeks ago and many schools across the country have followed suit. Dunk Your Kicks Unity Bins are now being filled in Manhattan, Long Island, Buffalo, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Washington DC, Nashville, Louisiana, Minnesota, Las Vegas and San Francisco. The founders of Max Cure want to see Unity Bins in schools in all 50 states helping them raise funds and awareness for such a worthy cause.
Should you need more information on Max Cure or how to get your school involved in Dunk Your Kicks, please email MJ Pedone of indrapr. Her email is: MJ@indrapr.com.
—Brad Berkowitz is a licensed NFL and CFL agent and writes a regular article on the New York Giants on NFL Blog Blitz. He is the author of: The 21st Century Guide to Bachelorhood.