In the spirit of the holiday season, Major Leaguers and former Jack T. Farrar Frogs, Jordan and Justus Sheffield, recently donated 48 pairs of shoes to students at their former elementary school on Friday.
Jordan, a 2013 Tullahoma High School graduate, was a first-round selection in the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft and last pitched for the Colorado Rockies. Justus, a 2014 THS graduate, was drafted in the first round straight out of high school and now pitches for the Seattle Mariners. Both Jordan and Justus attended Jack T. Farrar Elementary School.
The Sheffield brothers have made the shoe donation a yearly occurrence, and they love the joy it brings Farrar students. On top of getting new shoes, each Frog receives the players’ autographs as the Sheffields sign the sneaker box.
“I look forward to this every year. For us to be able to come back, help out and change somebody’s day is amazing,” Justus said. “Seeing the smiles on these kids’ faces is so rewarding and something that I look forward to every year.”
Jordan echoed those sentiments and added that his favorite part is seeing the students leave wearing their new shoes with smiles on their faces.
“Seeing them walk out of here happy and skipping down the hallway is such a great feeling,” Jordan said.
From a principal’s perspective, Farrar’s Travis Moore said having alumni give back to their former school is always wonderful. He added that having the Sheffield brothers there in person to donate is an experience that those students will cherish forever.
“This is such a great way for these guys to give back to kids in the community who attend the same school that they attended,” Moore said. “I can’t say enough good things about these guys and the Sheffield family. It is always great to see them. I was lucky enough to coach them in high school, so it is even more special for me to get to see it as well.”
The Sheffield brothers can make the yearly donation occur thanks to a partnership with New Balance. Additionally, they wanted to thank Clayton’s Shoe Store owner Florence Hull for aiding in making the donation a success. Two weeks before the donation, Hull comes to Farrar to find out what size shoe each student wears. Hull said she is grateful to be a part of this yearly donation.
“I love getting to be a part of this every year. These guys started doing this and then asked me to be a part, and I love it,” Hull said. “These boys grew up with my youngest daughter and are like family. It’s a real treat for me.”
In past years, the two Sheffield brothers would hear many thank yous from those students receiving shoes. However, this year, some students wrote thank-you cards in advance to show their appreciation.
“This is a first for us,” Jordan said. “All of these cards have been hand signed and were drawn by the kids. They are personalized to us, which just makes it extra special.”
While the thank you cards are appreciated, Jordan and Justus don’t want the praise. Both brothers stated that they just want to continue to have a positive impact and leave each student with a great memory.
“I still have vivid memories of when I was a student at Farrar. I remember playing basketball out on the playground. I live right down the street from Farrar, so anytime I pass by I relive those memories. Farrar is a great school, and we are just happy to give back. Hopefully, a student can follow in our footsteps or even leave their own mark someday. Making this happen around Christmas time makes it that much more awesome.”