BAY SHORE, New York -- Nurses walk an average of 10,000 to 15,000 steps per shift, making sneakers an essential part of their uniform.
As the coronavirus pandemic spread throughout hospitals across the country, Long Island's Ajon Crump had discovered a need for nurses that was being neglected.
Crump's cousin who is a nurse on the frontlines sparked the movement by being the first nurse to be surprised with sneakers. Crump wanted to think bigger and not just help her cousin, but also start a GoFundMe page dedicated to raising money to purchase sneakers for nurses across the country.
That's when 'Nurses Keep Going' was born, she expanded her one act of kindness to a full-fledged campaign focused on giving back to the health care workers on the frontlines that have worked and continue to work tirelessly during this pandemic.
"Our campaign's mission is to provide comfortable sneakers to as many nurses on the frontlines of COVID-19 as possible," said Crump. "We are incredibly thankful and we can't wait to keep going and send more sneakers to more nurses, our heroes. I realized nurses need sneakers especially now, especially working longer hours."
The campaign launched on April 15, and had an initial goal to raise $1,500, which provides sneakers to approximately 20 nurses.
Three months later, Nurses Keep Going has donated over 200 pairs of sneakers with the gofundme page reaching more than $15,000, which continues to grow each day.
For the first few weeks, Crump was doing this all on her own, but she soon realized that her campaign was growing and decided to build a team to work more efficiently with the growing demand of sneakers to ship out.
"We all love sneakers, we all recognize that sneakers are almost like a basic thing that you don't think about," said Lucille Bootman, Public Relations Manager. "It's so important that when you are on your feet all day treating patients to have comfortable shoes."
Each team member plays a specific part in keeping the operation running smoothly. Organizing the inbox, keeping track of money, ordering sneakers, and even delivering sneakers.
For most orders, Crump packages each pair of shoes individually with a personalized thank you note for each shoe box shipped out to add that extra emphasis of appreciation she has for them.
"I write out hand-written notes for them, which is probably my favorite part," said Crump. "Nurses appreciate it so much because they know they are getting the sneakers, but they don't know that they are getting a letter of appreciation."
Nurses who are interested in receiving a pair of extra sneakers can send an email to 'Nurses Keep Going', which will then lead them to a list of questions regarding shoe size and the facility they work at. There is currently a waitlist, but as 'Nurses Keep Going' receives more donations then more shoes will be shipped out for more nurses.
"I didn't know how appreciative people would be, said Crump. "That makes it so worth it."
Contact Community Journalist Alex Ciccarone
Follow Alex on Facebook
Follow @Alexabc7NY on Twitter
Follow @Alexabc7NY on Instagram