Meet Miran McCash: a runner on a mission to put shoes on the feet of kids who need them.
Miran is founder of Spokane Kicks for Kids.
As an avid runner, Miran McCash knows what it means to have a good pair of shoes under your feet. She understands the difference a pair of shoes can make in a life. That's why she founded Spokane Kicks for Kids to help provide athletic footwear to young people who need it. Her initiative and drive landed her a spot on the Hyland's team of inspirational Community Builders that was set to run the 2020 Boston Marathon. Unfortunately coronavirus got in the way of everybody's Boston plans, but Miran didn't let it delay her work in helping kids in her community. We were delighted to have the chance to provide Miran with Sport Slides and footbeds for her marathon journey, and we're equally happy to be able to share more of her story here.
The Lightest Tread (TLT): Why do you run?
Miran McCash (MM): I run because it brings people together. I love the sense of community when it comes to running – whether that is an unspoken "hi" while running on the trail or running with a friend in the early mornings.
TLT: What role has running played in your life?
MM: Running has brought so many of my best friends into my life. We all share a passion for running which is what you look for in your tribe. It has brought many opportunities – starting a run club, Spokane Kicks for Kids, coaching young kids, and showing people it doesn't matter how fast or slow you are, running is for everyone.
TLT: What’s the most important thing you do to take care of your body while training?
MM: The most important thing I do to take care of my body while training is SLEEP.
TLT: Why did you start Spokane Kicks For Kids? Why is it so important to you to help kids get shoes on their feet?
MM: I started SKFK because I saw a need in the community with kids who didn't have the proper shoes on their feet to be active; whether that is for running, being able to walk to and from school, or to play with their friends at the park. A middle school I was volunteering at had a closet of supplies that kids could take from, and I saw that it lacked shoes. I thought, why not reach out to the community and start collecting new and gently used shoes? It worked! It is essential to have the proper footwear because shoes are everything. We use them all the time whether we think about it it or not; to get outside and move, to go to the grocery store, to get to our friends houses, and to be able to be active in the outdoors.
TLT: What have you managed to achieve so far with SKFK?
MM: In 2019 I donated 200 pairs of shoes to three different schools. In 2020, I collected over 200 pairs of shoes but with the pandemic it has been hard to get to the schools. So, I was able to donate shoes through pickup meal sites where parents could bring their kids and pick out shoes while getting their lunches.
TLT: So you've been able to continue your mission despite the challenges 2020 has thrown at us all?
MM: Yes! I have been communicating with local principals in the area to get to their pick up meal sites. I set up a table, have a lot of shoes out on display, and whomever needs shoes, they choose the pair they want and they are on their way!
TLT: What are your goals for SKFK for the future?
MM: I want to be able to collect over 500 pairs of shoes and to be able to give them out to the community. I would like to advocate about why it is important for these kids to have shoes on their feet!
TLT: How can people get involved in supporting your mission?
MM: They can go to my website, www.spokanekfk.org and donate shoes, or donate from the Amazon wish list I have available.
TLT: You were supposed to be running the Boston Marathon alongside an awesome team of Community Builders – can you speak to the power of running in serving communities and building new ones?
MM: It was amazing to see what the other runners are doing all around the US. We just all want to help the community in one way or the other. Whether that is something small or big. Hopefully I can inspire other people in my community to reach out and do the same thing. If you have a goal or a passion, just go for it!