Helping Our Communities One Sneaker at a Time

By Ahjanay Darty

As summer draws to a close and a new school year approaches, Nashville’s Juvenile Court organized its inaugural Sneaker Bash to provide resources to children in need. The back-to-school event featured a variety of brand-new and gently worn shoes in all sizes for students, along with complimentary haircuts from an on-site barber and mobile salon services for manicures and pedicures. Additionally, free school supplies were provided to further support the students as they prepare to return to school.

Recognizing the pressing need for resources within the Napier and University Court community, Tangula Wilcox, the Community Outreach Coordinator for Juvenile Court, took proactive steps to initiate change. Over the summer, Wilcox provided lunches for children in the area and observed the demand for essentials like new clothing, shoes, and hygiene products as the school year approached. Given that many families were either near or above the poverty line, accessing these necessities could become a challenge. 

When asked about the inspiration behind the Sneaker Bash, Tangula expressed, “I want the kids to feel good when going back to school because when you look good, you feel good. Even though these children live in communities like this, they should still have the access to the same things as other children do.” Tangula is deeply driven by her commitment to giving back and making a meaningful impact. “This is just the first bash of many more to come. It will only get bigger and better each year,” said Wilcox. In addition to her job, Tangula has made helping children a personal mission. Her dedication to enriching the community, steering children away from the trouble, and nurturing positive change from within the neighborhood is sincere. She always seeks ways to make a difference and keep children out of the juvenile system and believes it starts in the community.