Oklahoma tornadoes: 8-year-old brings 80 pairs of shoes for Moore victims to Kevin Durant's camp

Jay Fair of Rowlett, Texas, wanted to do something to help Oklahomans impacted by tornadoes in May, so he collected kids shoes. He brought those shoes to Oklahoma this week while he attended Kevin Durant's camp. In the process, he got to meet his idol.
by Jenni Carlson Published: August 9, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

I will not be getting gifts this year for my birthday. For my birthday I want to donate shoes for the people in Oklahoma. My goal is to try to get 50 or more pairs. Please get brand new shoes. You can get shoes for boys and girls any size. I have a lot of toys already and the people in Oklahoma need shoes.

— Jay

He wrote the letter on his own, then his mom typed it up and emailed it to their family and friends. But it slowly spread to others. Their family and friends shared it with their family and friends.

Soon, shoes and donations started arriving at the Fairs' home. When all was said and done, Jay had 80 pairs of shoes, far surpassing his goal of 50 pairs, and he started making plans to send the shoes to the Durant Foundation.

Little did he know that he'd get to make a delivery.

Earlier this week, his parents gave him an early birthday present. Inside the wrapping was a box, and inside the box was a picture of Kevin Durant. A speech bubble had been added to the photo.

“Come join me at my basketball camp.”

Jay beamed.

“Why do you think we're going?” his mom asked.

“So I can meet Kevin Durant?” Jay said.

“Yeah, but what else?”

Jay thought a moment, then broke into a big smile.

“I can give him the shoes,” he exclaimed.

When the family arrived in Norman earlier this week, Christina sought out camp organizers so they could get some details about how to donate the shoes. But as she told the story of all that Jay had done, jaws dropped.

Camp organizers told KD, and KD wanted to meet Jay.

The superstar shook the 8-year-old's hand and asked him about what he'd done.

“He tried to say he wasn't nervous,” his mom said.

His dad jumped in.

“He was nervous.”

Jay explained.

“He is tall,” he said.

What Jay has done makes him pretty big, too. Forgoing birthday presents. Having a shoe drive. Not just thinking of others but actually doing something to help them.

Remember, this is an 8-year-old.

“This is his own deal,” his dad said. “We just tell him when he does good things for people, good things will happen for you.”

He did good for Oklahoma.

Great for him.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.


by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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