TMS raises money for diabetic research through sneaker campaign

Published 7:54 pm Thursday, November 10, 2022

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By EMILY REED | Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – Thompson Middle School National Junior Honor Society students recently sold 422 pairs of shoes as a fundraiser for JDRF.

The fundraiser focuses on raising money for the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation, which seeks to help find a cure for diabetes by selling paper “sneakers.”

“This is something we really enjoy participating in and the students just do an amazing job with it,” said Michael Wilbanks, gifted specialist with ACS.

The annual fundraiser is a time for students to focus on raising money for the cause, and a JDRF walk is held in Birmingham at the Birmingham Zoo.

This year, Wilbanks said there were about 50 students who raised roughly 800 shoes for the fundraiser, compared to last year with about 1,000 shoes sold and roughly double the amount of students.

“It was just really great to see that the students this year really worked hard to get the word out,” Wilbanks said.

According to information from JDRF, the Walk to Cure Diabetes, which is held at different places throughout the country, is the largest national fundraiser event for diabetes research.

Wilbanks said the paper sneakers sold from students at TMS will be displayed throughout the hallways at TMS starting within the next couple of weeks until the end of the school year in May.

“This is just something that our students really enjoy participating in,” Wilbanks said. “Each year it is a great experience.”

Those interested in learning more about JDRF can visit