Chances are, you’ve never heard the expression, ‘Don’t judge a book by its Crocs.’
But 22-year-old Reese Wilson says you can learn a lot about a man through his shoes.
“I was a goofball in high school,” he said. “I kind of just became known as the Croc guy. I wore them proudly, every single day, from the start of freshman year until I graduated.”
Wilson had a childhood as comfortable as his Crocs. He had a good family, was class president and valedictorian and a star on the Rockwall-Heath football team.
“People joked with me, if they had Croc cleats, would I wear them,” he said with a laugh.
It wasn’t until Reese graduated and walked on to the football team at Vanderbilt that he realized not everyone has walked a mile in those same, fortunate shoes.
Reese learned many of his teammates came from difficult backgrounds. Single mothers, poverty and hunger. Without sports and education, those teammates would have never made it to college. For Reese, that was hard to stomach.
“It was really compelling to me,” he said. “It wasn’t something that I could just look away from and ignore.”
To Reese, his teammates are family, and he wondered: What if there was a way to help kids just like them?
“Shoes were a way we could do that,” he said.
As part of a class project, Reese created a shoe company called Reezos. He’s still raising money to get it off the ground, but for every dollar that comes in, 20 percent will be given to charities that support sports and education for children.
“I believe in the power that sports and education have to actually transform lives of young people,” Wilson said.
Every pair of Reezos will put another child on track for a brighter future. All thanks to a young man who’s pouring so much of his heart into their soles.