Members of the Garcia Salesian Youth Center of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay took home 200 new pairs of sneakers donated today by Tampa Bay Buccaneer tight end O.J. Howard and UnitedHealthcare.

The shoe donation, valued at $12,000, is part of a partnership between UnitedHealthcare and O.J. Howard’s Dreambuilders Foundation to support at-risk youth and raise awareness for the importance of physical activity and health.

“It is an occasion to celebrate when our community partners provide what many would consider a basic essential for a school-aged child – a pair of new shoes that fits and provides them with a new sense of confidence as they tackle the school day. We are grateful to UnitedHealthcare and O.J. Howard for their generous gift,” said Chris Letsos, President & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay.

The event included Alex Good, UnitedHealthcare account supervisor and Tampa Bay Boys & Girls Clubs board member, leading a team of employee volunteers in distributing the sneakers to the students, who tested them out in gym activities with the Tampa Bay Bucs star.

Howard, who grew up playing baseball and football, shared his keys to a balanced daily life. “Stay active and eat right to be healthy, focus on school as much as sports, and maintain a positive attitude,” Howard said.