CLEVELAND — Over 100 kids received new Nike shoes ahead of the upcoming school year, thanks to one local entrepreneur.
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Hayden Speeth, John Carroll University junior and the owner/founder of 440 Kicks held his second Kicks for Kids charity event in partnership with University Hospitals on Saturday.
"I started my business back in eighth grade because I was bullied for not having cool shoes," said Speeth. "So I took that feeling of being bullied and turned it into my business."
Families of patients at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital were invited to the event to receive brand-new shoes for the upcoming school year.
"It is great for the community that someone actually cares enough to help children and families who may not be able to get what they need for their kids and family," said attendee Yvonne Dale. "This is awesome."
The 440 Kicks for Kids event featured food, resources and fun activities, along with the delivery of many pairs of shoes ahead of the upcoming school year.
"Now that I am at a point where my business is successful and doing really well, I think it is important to give back to the community that I came up in because I know what it is like to be one of these kids to not have nice shoes going into school," said Speeth. "My goal is to bridge that gap between not having nice things and the bullying that goes on in these schools."
With the help of one of his professors, Dr. Phillip Wenk, at John Carroll, Speeth was able to make this year's charity event and last years happen.
"He works with a lot of non-profits and organizations in the area. He linked me with University Hospitals...," said Speeth. "It was important for me to be able to see the kids and make that connection."
In the future, Speeth hopes to have more charity events and wants to eventually set up a non-profit that will consistently give shoes to kids in need.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above previously aired on 3News on March 23, 2022.
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