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Schoolboy, 13, organises shoe drive for bullied classmates

THOUGHTFUL: Zaire Downs (left)

A NEW York schoolboy who was tired of his fellow classmates being bullied for not wearing fashionable trainers, decided to take action.

“It’s this boy in my school who gets bullied because he doesn’t have nice shoes,” Zaire Downs explained. “I feel bad for some kids who can’t afford them.”

Downs was not willing to sit idly by and watch as his classmates walked into school with old shoes.

Instead, he launched a neighbourhood drive last month that yielded 100 pairs of assorted kids-sized trainers and shoes.

The shoe drive to benefit his needy friends was just the latest gesture of public activism by Downs.

In June, he and a city councilman in Rochester organised a youth march in support of the Black Lives Matter social justice movement.

The demonstration turned out to be such a success that it inspired him to undertake the shoe drive, his mother, Tamara Leigh told Inside Edition.

"He felt like it was really important for kids to always walk in the first day [of school] with a fresh pair of sneakers. It gives them confidence and makes them feel good about themselves," Leigh said.

Downs has even started a GoFundMe campaign to help raise cash to buy more trainers.

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