New York Toyota Dealers Association

NY Region and TDA Team Up to Connect Kids with New Sneakers
by Kristen Orsborn
Nov/Dec 2019
New York Toyota Dealers Association
If the Shoe Fits
Rebecca Buer, former New York Region vehicle operations manager, loads donated sneakers into a RAV4 at the NYC JAM basketball tournament.
Dozens of New York City students have new sneakers, thanks in part to the generosity of Toyota's New York Region and the New York Toyota Dealers Association.

In August, they helped organize a shoe drive in partnership with a local basketball tournament, NYC JAM.

“The tournament is inspired by the '90s basketball era and culture,” says NYC JAM Creative Founder Jeff Chen. “It allows kids, who are incredibly talented, to compete and showcase their skills in a one-of-a-kind platform and setting.”

Chen wanted a charitable component for the event, and connected with the New York Region’s former Vehicle Operations Manager, Rebecca Buer.

“I’ve always had a passion for basketball,” Buer says. “I played in college. So, I was excited about the idea of partnering and suggested we host a shoe drive.”

Buer worked with the NYTDA to secure a wrapped 2019 RAV4 and had it parked outside the venue. Attendees were encouraged to bring a new or lightly used pair of shoes as a donation, and they were collected in the RAV4.

The Region also provided gift cards to purchase brand-new pairs of white-on-white Nike Air Force 1s.

The shoes were given to students participating in the tournament’s skills clinic, hosting more than 70 children from a nearby community center. Each child received two pairs. They were encouraged to keep one pair and give the other to a friend — to pass along the excitement of new shoes and spread the event’s goodwill.

“Mobility can mean a lot of things,” says Buer. “To New Yorkers, it means a lot of walking. But you need to have a good pair of sneakers to do that. It’s also just a good feeling to put on a new pair of shoes. Anyone can relate to that. And I want those kids to experience that too.”
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