WOODWAY — A high school senior from Woodway conducted a shoe drive on his own time this summer, collecting about 200 pairs of shoes for Cocoon House.
The nonprofit in Everett serves homeless teens.
Many of the donated shoes were new, and in styles that young people consider “cool,” said Cassie Franklin, the Cocoon House CEO. “It was a really special gift,” she said.
Jack Popke, 17, got the idea from a family friend who is a supporter of Cocoon House, he said. He attends University Prep in Seattle and is starting the process of applying for college. He is considering a major in business, he said.
He liked the idea of shoes as a necessity, but something that also can bring joy, he said. He’s not used to networking and fundraising, so his father suggested ways to start.
They reached out to the University of Washington athletics department.
“That was my biggest donor,” Popke said.
Another participant was the Central Park Tennis Club in Kirkland, which allowed him to leave a collection bin there for several weeks, he said.
He started the drive in May and wrapped it up in the summer before dropping the shoes off at Cocoon House. He tried to make sure the shoes were ones teens would want to wear “and feel good about,” he said.
“I pretty much had to clean all of them that were used, which took a lot of time, but it was worth it,” he said.
After being turned down a few times, he had to try some determination, he said.
“In the beginning after asking like seven people, I was just like, ‘I don’t know if I could even do this,’ ” he said. “It seemed really difficult, but I stayed with it and it worked really well.”
How to help
Cocoon House is a nonprofit in Everett serving homeless teens. Donation needs include back to school supplies, backpacks, day planners, binders, paper, pens and new shoes for women and men.
For information about volunteering, call 425-259-5802 ext. 123. The main office is at 2929 Pine St.