On May 19 the foundation held its second annual Run for Shoes 5K/One Mile Walk and Kid’s Fun Run. All proceeds from the race were used to purchase new tennis shoes for area children in need and were distributed June 30 at the Tuscarawas County Department of Job and Family Services office at New Philadelphia.
Joyce Barker and Mandy Prosser of the agency helped coordinate the distribution event. “Everything is going very smoothly and we are so fortunate to have families like the O’Farrells in the community,” said Barker. “This is the second year they have done this and it looks like it will be an annual event as long as there is a need.”
“We were able to raise enough money for 200 pairs of shoes,” said Josh O’Farrell. “The kids that receive a new pair of shoes went through an application process through the Tuscarawas County Department of Job and Family Services. Today we are distributing 136 pairs of new shoes. We were able to provide a new pair of shoes to every single applicant.”
Those receiving new shoes arrived early and patiently waited until the O’Farrells personally greeted each recipient before presenting them with a new pair of tennis shoes. “It is our hope that we can make a positive impact on the community by helping families in need,” said O’Farrell. “Something as simple as a new pair of shoes can be very meaningful to a family experiencing financial hardship.”
Recipients were able to try on their new shoes to make sure they fit properly with only a few issues that were easily remedied.
Many of the families attending the event were visibly moved by the generosity of the O’Farrell family and their willingness to help others. Everyone walked away grateful for the efforts put forth by the O’Farrell family.
The O’Farrells own children, Liam and Jameson, were on hand to offer their assistance at the event. The O’Farrells give credit to their children for inspiring them to help children in the community get the best possible start they can. “Our community is based on families,” said Josh O’Farrell. “It can only become stronger when those families are strengthened.”
Future events are planned and the foundation will once again provide Thanksgiving turkeys to local families this November. In 2011 the foundation partnered with Adventure Harley Davidson and was able to give 100 families a turkey for their holiday meal.
Donations to the O’Farrell Family Hug Foundation should be sent to 377 Cypress Circle SE, New Philadelphia 44663.
Published: July 2, 2012