Trevor Story has always said being a professional athlete is an opportunity to tell people about his faith. Now he has a T-shirt doing just that. Story has partnered with the organization Giving Sole to buy brand name shoes for kids in foster care who, according to its website, “have never known what it’s like to have new shoes like their peers.”
The shirt, which is available for purchase at Athletes Brand, features the outline of a cross, lion and sword, and is entitled “Chase the Lion.” Story told the Denver Post that the cross stands for remembering the sacrifice of God, the lion represents being bold in your faith, and the sword is symbolic for putting on the armor of God. Story says he regularly wears the shirt around the clubhouse and during pregame warm-ups.
“Shoes [are] a huge hobby of mine, so I met up with Gavin [Henss] in spring training and thought it was going to be a great partnership,” Story said. “And it has been absolutely great so far. This shirt is what I’m all about, and to help put shoes on the feet of kids who need it most is special.”
Giving Sole was started by 10-year-old Gavin Henss and his parents. After a short-term foster child left their family, Gavin wanted to keep helping kids in the system. This eventually became a family-wide project. Along with each pair of shoes donated is a handwritten note Gavin writes with inspiring messages like, “I can’t wait to see what you’ll grow up to be,” and “You are so much more than your circumstances.”
Gavin and his parents hope each message reminds kids that their voices matter, and that the shoes are a constant reminder of their inherent worth. It’s also why Giving Sole gifts only brand-new, brand-name shoes.
“When you’re a kid, walking into school with a brand-new pair of Nike or Adidas shoes is a big deal,” says Gavin’s dad, Shawn. “We want to give these kids not just what they need, but what they deserve.”
Story says his partnership with Giving Sole is just the beginning of his philanthropic efforts, and that more projects will come soon.
In 2018 he told Sports Spectrum, “We’re here playing baseball but we’re called to do something greater, I believe … to further God’s Kingdom and to help others and to try to be like Jesus as close as we can. Obviously that’s the hard part, but it’s really just that meaning and knowing … you’re here for that deeper reason — not just to play baseball. That’s certainly the venue we were blessed to have, to reach as many people as we can.”
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