Becoming a pro football player takes more than talent and determination. It takes shoes.
NFL cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, former Gadsden City High School Titan and current Cincinnati Bengal, visited Gadsden Monday morning to help local children take care of their shoe situation — as well as get new clothes and something to eat — courtesy of his 21 Kids Foundation.
Sixteen elementary and middle school students and their parents met up with Kirkpatrick at East Gadsden’s Shoe Carnival, where the star athlete walked through the store helping kids pick shoes and try them on, smiling and joking with them along the way. Kirkpatrick said he wanted to take the kids shoe shopping because it’s one of his personal passions.
“If you go to my house, I’ve probably got over a thousand shoes,” he said, laughing. “When you’re walking around as a kid, the first thing kids want to do is look at each other’s shoes. It’s something that intrigues me, and it’s a positive thing; it’s not hard.”
A spokesperson for the event said children were chosen based on need by their guidance counselors, with two children selected from 10 area schools. Four of the invited 20 children weren’t able to attend for various reasons; those students will still get shoes and clothes through the foundation, coordinating with their schools.
Article courtesy of the Gadsden Times
Photos courtesy of Charlotte Worthy, Thomas Worthy, and other volunteers for Kirkpatrick. More photos to come on Tuesday.