CECILIA, La. (KLFY) An eighth-grade student at Cecilia Junior High is making a difference at his school by giving away tennis shoes to those in need.

News Ten’s Rodricka Taylor spoke with Nathan Thorton IV about how his idea and how it was formulated. 

“Some people (at school) had their shoes busted up and stuff and I know if my shoes were busted up, I would want some new shoes.” 

Thornton said the idea about giving shoes to those in need formed when his mother, Charlene Thornton, showed him a video of a young boy donating Nike shoes to kids in need at his school.

Nathan IV says he was touched by the gesture but unlike the teen in the video he could not afford to buy hundreds of pairs of shoes.

He says he then decided to ask Nike to donate its shoes so he could give them to those in need in his hometown.  

Each shoe box comes with a pair of Nike shoes, a yellow ribbon, and a note stating: ‘I hope the shoes bring joy to your life.’

He says yellow is his favorite color and says yellow means to bring joy to people’s lives.

“Do good to others, and good will come back to you.”  Thornton IV said.

Chase Talley, who is the football and track coach at Cecilia Junior High, says in their athletic program they constantly talk about how students should strive to be great community members and pillars of the community. 

“For one of our athletes to go out of his way on his own and decide that he wants to help spread positivity and the society we have nowadays it’s a great gesture, and it really makes us proud and a great leader to show our other athletes in what we truly want to see in our student-athletes and everyday members of our athletic programs,” Talley said. 

He shares that Nathan is a student-athlete with good grades.

“It’s really great with all the social media and the negative attention. It’s great to have such positive attention coming from one of our athletes,” Talley said. “As an eighth grader, he’s showing those younger kids what we expect from our athletes and going into high school I know they are very fortunate to have him.” 

Charlene Thornton says six pairs, so far, have been donated and given to students in need through the school guidance counselor.

If you would like to help Nathan help others, he is accepting donations of new or gently used Nike shoe.

You can reach the Thorton’s at their local business, Sneaux Dat.