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Michael Jordan. LeBron James. Kobe Bryant. Mo’ne Davis.
They’re all masterful athletes with their own line of designer kicks, but only one of them is using the sneakers sales to raise money for impoverished women across the globe.
(Hint: It’s the 14 year old girl.)
Philly native Mo’ne Davis blew the mind of baseball enthusiasts when she became first girl to earn to pitch a shutout in the history of the Little League World Series. She was also the first female African-American to play in the Series. And the first Little Leaguer to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated.
But it is more than her 70-mph fastball that enthralls Davis’ fans. Examples of her professionalism and generosity are all over the internet. When a college baseball player was suspended for making a nasty slur about Davis on Twitter, she not only forgave him but asked the school to reinstate him. When ESPN asked asked her if she knew how important she was, she responded, “…people don’t see the whole picture about my teammates. Without [them] I don’t think we’d be here.”
It seems being a history-making, hyper-talented and magnanimous super-famous person isn’t enough for Davis, because now she’s teamed up with M4D3 (“Make a Difference Every Day”) to launch a line of sneakers which will help girls living in poverty.
M4D3 is a company founded with the goal of helping raise funds for charities by partnering with socially aware athletes and celebs to design unique athletic apparel. They partnered with Davis to create a line of funky and playful sneakers with stitching that mimics the baseballs she sends hurtling past the home plate.
The Mo’ne Davis Collection line of sneakers will donate 15 percent of proceeds to the “Because I am a Girl” initiative which providing impoverished women and girls access to healthcare, education, food and protection from sex trafficking.
The program’s aim is to end the injustices that can be listed behind the phrase “Because I am a girl…” “Because I am a girl, I’m more likely to become infected with HIV.” “Because I am a girl, I can be forced into an early marriage.” The program’s projects range from improving education for girls in Burina Faso to teaching mothers micro-finance in Vietnam.
“Designing shoes with M4D3 is exciting and I wanted to support Because I am a Girl to help girls and give them a chance at a better future,” Davis explained about the partnership.
The sports star has also autographed a limited number of her sneakers the proceeds from which will go to Plan International U.S.A.’s relief efforts in Nepal after the recent earthquakes.
Oh, and just for an extra little bit of awesome? Each shoe is stamped on the heel with “Throw Like a Girl,” which, as Spike Lee’s so-named short film about Davis shows, is fast, tough and awesome.
While baseball is what launched Mo’ne Davis into the national spotlight, she doesn’t necessarily see it as her future sport. Apparently what she’s really good at is basketball. Regardless of what she decides to do with the rest of her life, it’s pretty clear she’ll continue to inspire the rest of us along the way.