Teen Uses $25,000 Bar Mitzvah Money to Buy Disadvantaged Kids Shoes

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Braden Aboud Memorial Foundation

Braden Aboud Memorial Foundation

Birthdays are inherently self-absorbed observances where family and friends buy you presents and make a big deal about how great you are. You get to eat your favorite foods and ask (without judgment) for all the cool toys you’ve had your eye on all year. At least, that’s the idea, right?

Well, that isn’t how 13-year-old Drew Frank saw it. When his 13th birthday came around with the traditional Jewish coming of age celebration, the Bar Mitzvah, he took the opportunity to do something more outwardly focused and selfless.

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Frank, of El Paso, Texas, had already thought ahead and created his plan before his Bar Mitzvah. But in order for his idea to work, he needed to politely ask his friends and family for money instead of gifts for the celebration. Fortunately, he received an overwhelming response. After the party was over, Frank collected a total of $25,000. Pretty generous family members, don’t you think?
Braden Aboud Memorial Foundation

Braden Aboud Memorial Foundation

Now, what did this young humanitarian do with his cash? He bought a lot of shoes. With the help of his undoubtedly proud parents, Frank contacted the Braden Aboud Foundation. This organization was founded for Braden, a 14-year-old boy who was tragically killed in a skiing accident, and seeks to give the children of El Paso, Texas, opportunities for character, physical, and educational development. One of their newest programs is The Great Shoe Giveaway, which focuses on gifting new shoes to specially chosen El Paso schools where there is a large population of students who come from economically disadvantaged homes.
Braden Aboud Memorial Foundation

Braden Aboud Memorial Foundation

Frank and the foundation purchased 800 pairs of brand new Nike shoes and 800 pairs of socks. Close to half of these were gifted to a nearby school in a financially struggling area and the rest were given to an orphanage and a home for women and children. This is the first time such a young person has come to this charity to partner with them. Until this time, the charity was used to receiving donations and partnerships through larger companies and businesses. “Drew and his family approached us about doing something together,” Cindi Aboud, the charity’s founder said. “My hope is that our foundation will be able to one day get the sponsorship of Nike or another big shoe retailer to partner with us so we can buy more shoes.”
Braden Aboud Memorial Foundation

Braden Aboud Memorial Foundation

This extraordinary young man was just happy to help. As a teenager himself, he understands the pressures kids go through to fit in at school, and he was glad to be able to give back to the community. He said, “I’m giving sneakers to these kids who may otherwise not have new sneakers. They just get shoes that have been passed down from generation to generation. I just wanted to give back to these kids who are less fortunate than me.”

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