During this deadly pandemic, one fact that has been made crystal clear is that our healthcare workers, especially our nurses, are the real heroes of this country. They have tirelessly put their lives at risk to be on the frontlines of this crisis, despite a shortage of protective gear and face masks.
For Ajon Crump, a New York native, Apple employee and college student, giving back to the medical community was crucial, which is why she created the #NikesForNurses, a campaign to raise money to donate free sneakers to nurses.
“There were so many factors for the conception of this campaign,” Crump told HelloBeautiful. “First, I worked at the Apple Store and they were one of the first retailers to close because it was mandatory and they still vowed to pay us. So I thought, I’m at home and I’m still getting paid, I have to do something.”
That “something” sparked when one of her cousins, a nurse in Florida, mentioned that she needed a new pair of sneakers because she wore hers out walking up and down the hospital floors taking care of her patients.
“It kicked off from there!” the 26-year-old Suffolk Country resident said, buying her cousin a pair of shoes, but thinking there was more for her to do.
So at first, Crump took to social media to advertise her campaign, using her own money to purchase Nike Winflo 5 for nurses, a sneaker Crump fell in love with after buying a pair for herself to take walks outside. But soon after, her boyfriend suggested that she create a GoFundMe, to get more people involved to have even a greater impact. Taking his sound advice, Crump did just that, setting an initial goal of raising $1500 to gift 20 pairs and building up from there by working from an intensely organized spreadsheet tracking everyone’s information.
While she’s NYC-based, Crump sends the shoes all over the country, as far as New Orleans she says, and each box includes a personal “thank you” note for each nurse’s hard work. Most importantly, like a true philanthropist, Crump understands that this is not about her. This is about giving back during these dark times and providing people with that “magical moment.”
“This is corny and I know that, but I have always been that person that wanted others to have those magical movie moments. I hope seeing these shoes on their doorsteps can give them that,” she added.
Thanks to the powers of word-to-mouth online conversations and increased press coverage, Crump’s initiative keeps meeting its goals while setting new ones. As of Monday (April 27), she has raised more than $7500 and took to Twitter to share her progress thus far.
“22 nurses have received brand new sneakers 12 pairs of sneakers are on their way to nurses 36 (!!! ~grateful for my garage~) pairs of sneakers will get to me by Wed. for size verification, allocation, “Thank You!” cards, and shipping. Happy Monday! Let’s work. #NikesForNurses,” she wrote.
This is what giving back looks like. Thank you Ajon!
Learn more and donate to #NikesForNurses at Crump’s GoFundMe page here.