The “Buckets 4 Boots” fundraiser combined basketball and a worthy cause, helping the homeless. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

Langley student stages fundraising basketball tournament to help homeless get shoes

Organizer moved by the sight of people with ‘nothing that even resembles a sock’

Shannon Kao said the inspiration to stage a charity basketball tournament to help put shoes on homeless feet came about when she saw some needy people who lacked proper footwear in her own community.

“I was downtown and I had a moment of revelation,” said Kao, a Grade 11 student at R.E. Mountain school in Langley.

“So many people don’t have the proper footwear [and] don’t have the proper outer wear,” Kao said.

A player on the R.E. Mountain basketball team for the last five years, Kao said it made her reflect on the luxuries she has become accustomed to.

People her age and younger can obtain elaborately designed and costly athletic gear, specifically shoes, without a second thought, while there are people on the street with “nothing that even resembles a sock,” she said.

“The contrast to me was very startling,” she said.

READ MORE: Buckets4Boots uses basketball to put boots on feet

That led Kao to the idea of an all-day, informal basketball tournament to allow people to have fun and raise money for a worthy cause.

She called it “Buckets 4 Boots.”

Eight teams signed up.

On Saturday, as the round-robin three-on-three tournament was wrapping up in the R.E. Mountain gymnasium, Kao was watching the action from the sideline, smiling.

“It’s going amazing,” Kao said.

Winners were “Les Guys,” a trio of Grade 9 students from Walnut Grove.

About $150 was raised.

Kao is hoping to hold the event again next year.

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Shannon Kao had the idea for the “Buckets 4 Boots” fundraiser after seeing homeless people without adequate footwear. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

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