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December 15. 2013 8:18PM

Portsmouth High student's drive donates shoes to Manchester police group

MANCHESTER — A Portsmouth High School sophomore donated dozens of “gently used” athletic shoes and other footwear to the Manchester Police Athletic League (MPAL) to be distributed to children in need.

Sam Vitali started his “Shoe Support” sneaker drive back in October, challenging students at middle schools in Greenland, Rye and Portsmouth to donate gently used sneakers. Vitali targeted middle school students because at that stage of life, many grow through shoes and clothing much faster than they can wear them out.

The large majority of the donated shoes are practically brand new, and still have a lot of wear left in them, according to police.

Last year, Sam and his father John Vitali drove to Staten Island to deliver sneakers to the Staten Island Police Athletic League following Superstorm Sandy which devastated the area.

This year, he decided to keep the donations closer to home and reached out to MPAL, asking the group to help in distributing the donated footwear to kids in need.

Vitali’s paternal grandfather planted the idea of approaching the police group having shared stories with his family of his own childhood memories participating in his local PAL in the Bronx.

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