Mr. Speaker, one of the most important values that we strive to teach our children is to give back to others. Well, it’s time for us adults to go back to school, as 13- year-old Mickie May Levin is teaching us a thing or two about generosity.
This year, Levin had her bat mitzvah, and in preparation for this rite of passage, she decided to undertake a service project that would give back to her local community in the spirit of Jewish tradition. In brainstorming ideas, she kept returning to soccer, a sport that she had already fell in love with.
She played on her school team, and she enjoyed how the sport brings people together from a variety of backgrounds. From her own time on the field, she understood the importance of having a good pair of cleats on your feet during a game, particularly when the rain started to come down.
She also knew that she and many of her friends had pairs of gently used cleats piling up in their closets and garages—at that age, kids outgrow clothes and shoes very quickly. An idea was thus born: she would collect these cleats and donate them to kids who couldn’t afford to buy them.
Levin started out small, asking around her friend group and eventually placing yellow cardboard boxes labelled ‘‘Cleats for a Cause’’ around her school and elsewhere in her community. She then started reaching out to individuals and organizations, asking if they had any shoes to spare.
Her donations soared after Tarik Guendouzi, the director of the boys’ teams for Rise FC, responded and told her that his club wanted to help. Although Levin provided just one cardboard box, the families of the club brought so many shoes that she had to utilize her mother’s pickup truck to transport them all back to her house.
Levin then gave the hundreds of shoes she had collected to the All Nations Sports Academy, an organization in Houston that provides underprivileged children opportunities to play soccer. The young kids received them jubilantly, taking the field with new shoes on their feet and a noticeable swagger in their step.
Mr. Speaker, Mickie May Levin has a heart of gold, and she leads by example in making an impact in her community. It is because of the generosity of individuals like Levin that our country is what it is today.
Young and old, we can all learn something from her about kindness.
And that is just the way it is.