It was after attending a seminar by motivational speaker Tony Robbins last year that Jamie Jarvis was first inspired to combine his love for basketball with an initiative to give back to his community.
Beginning with one small act, he took $100 of his own money, and purchased a pair of basketball shoes for a student player at Brookswood Secondary School.
Jarvis, a graduate of Brookswood Secondary himself, reached out to his former coach Jyoti Pawar for help in choosing a student who was “hardworking, dedicated and just loved the game of basketball,” but could not afford the cost of new shoes.
“He chose a kid, we bought him a pair of shoes, and from what I have been told, that small act meant the world to him,” Jarvis wrote online.
Now, he is hoping to help even more students receive new shoes, and has started the GoFundMe page “Shoes for the Kids” with the goal of raising $5,000.
Originally, Jarvis wanted to raise enough money to purchase five pairs of shoes for five players — but with the amount donated so far, he’s already far surpassed that.
He’s even had local businesses come on board, including Vancity Original clothing company and Lords of Gastown clothing company, which have both donated items to auction off, and Big Kahuna Sports in South Surrey, which is offering 50 per cent off their shoes, allowing the donations to go even further.
Depending how much is raised through the GoFundMe page in the next two weeks, Jarvis says he will donate any remaining money to a sports scholarship fund at the school, and eventually, would like to take the initiative to other high schools in Langley.
Jarvis says his desire comes from his own experiences growing up, where he went “from the typical family household, to living in in what I thought was a castle [and] being waited on hand and foot (thanks Grandma), to waking up in Kindergarten knowing that my only stable meal was going to be the cereal and milk my school provided,” he wrote.
“But through it all, I always knew that somewhere someone was looking out for me, and at the end of the day I’d be taken care of.
“After 25 years of having multiple guardian angels looking after me, last year I decided it was time to start giving back.”
For more information, or to donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/25vw4nss.