APPLETON — Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones brought a shower of smiles to Boys and Girls Clubs at the Fox Valley Appleton building on Tuesday when he personally presented brand new Adidas shoes to a room full of fans. excited children.
The shoes were part of Jones’ Yards for Shoes campaign, which first launched in the 2020-21 NFL playoff season. Yards for Shoes, which is a partnership between the Jones family’s nonprofit A&A All the Way and Cousins Subs, donates a pair of shoes to a child for every yard Jones walks.
In last year’s playoffs, Jones rushed for 126 yards and Yards for Shoes donated 126 pairs of shoes to elementary and middle school children in Green Bay. For the 2021-22 season, A&A All the Way and Cousins Subs have extended the Yards for Shoes campaign for the entire season.
With Jones’ 799 yards and 42 additional shoe donations from Packers fans, Yards for Shoes was able to donate 841 pairs of Adidas shoes to children at Boys and Girls Clubs across the state. Of these, 200 pairs of shoes go to children in Fox Valley.
“I play as a running back and every yard matters to me,” Jones said during Tuesday’s event. “And this campaign shows it – I fight for every yard on the pitch and a child will be rewarded for every yard I walk.”
The excitement at the Appleton Boys & Girls Club was palpable. Jones chatted with the children as he personally delivered shoeboxes to the room of about 50 children. One girl said she never wanted to take off her new shoes.
“Many of the young people we serve at the Boys & Girls Club live in low-income households – not all of them, but the majority of them do. And it wouldn’t be a normal thing for them to be able to get a great new pair of Adidas shoes,” said Greg Lemke-Rochon, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley.
Justin McCoy, vice president of marketing for Cousins Subs, said the Wisconsin-based sandwich company was grateful for the opportunity to work with A&A All the Way.
“We are so thrilled to partner with Aaron, his foundation and all the good work he does in the community. He is a prominent member of this community and his commitment to giving back is second to none, and that fits very good to our commitment to the community as well,” McCoy said.
Jones said seeing the smiles on the children’s faces as he handed out shoes warmed his heart.
“Hopefully we can do it next year and get to 1,000,” Jones said.