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Valley News Dispatch

Springdale students put ‘Best Foot Forward’ to help people in need

Emily Balser
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Springdale High School sophomores Roman Liberati, 16, and Bryson Andews, 15, sort through donations to provide socks to veterans in need.
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Springdale High School sophomores Roman Liberati, 16, and Bryson Andrews, 15, collect donations of shoes to donate to people in need in front of Glen’s Custard in Springdale.

Two Springdale High School students have turned their habit of buying too many new shoes into a charity to help people in need.

Sophomores Roman Liberati, 16, and Bryson Andrews, 15, started Best Foot Forward this fall to get rid of unwanted shoes that were still in good condition and help others who could use them. They have since expanded it to collect athletic shoes, boots and socks to give away.

“That was a great feeling knowing I could help those people and possibly change a little bit of their lives,” Liberati said. “No matter who you are, whenever you put on a new shoe it makes you feel great.”

The teens have been friends since kindergarten and soccer and basketball teammates since elementary school.

They attribute much of their success to their Christian faith and Best Foot Forward’s slogan references Psalm 15:2: “Walk straight, act right, speak truth.”

The quote adorns the tags they place on each pair of shoes they give away.

“I realized that we had a lot of shoes that I never wore that were just kind of sitting there,” Andrews said of starting the charity.

So far they have donated to other teens and veterans in need and hope to find other groups to donate to in the new year.

“I just thought that since the veterans do so much for us, it’s good to give back to them,” Andrews said. “It’s cool to see that you make such a big impact on them.”

The two have gotten help from their parents and other community members.

“Roman and Bryson are so blessed and they realize it,” said Carin Liberati, Roman’s mother. “It is so rewarding as a parent to watch your child grow in the understanding that the world does not revolve around them — that they are able to see beyond themselves and reach out to others.”

Liberati said they got some of their inspiration from seeing professional athletes do similar programs. He hopes they could have the same
impact.

“Hopefully, we can be an inspiration to some people,” he said.

Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 724-226-4680, [email protected] or via Twitter @emilybalser.

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