Dedicated to raising awareness of the danger of asthma and allergies, specifically nut allergies, through the creation of educational programs and community outreach.



How You Can Make a Difference

Help us raise awareness of nut and food allergies by performing these actions

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Wear Red Sneakers

Red sneakers are the sign for food allergy awareness. If you don't have a pair go out and buy some.

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Post Photos on Social Media

Use these hashtags when posting your photos on instagram, facebook, and twitter. #livlikeoaks #nutallergyawareness #redsneakersforoakley

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Donate to the Cause

The money raised will help develop new programs and initiatives which will bring awareness and help protect those with food allergies.

Donate Now

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Restaurant Food Allergy Initiative

Bringing awareness to food allergies by marking items on their menus with the Red Sneakers for Oakley logo.

View Initiative

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School Food Allergy Initiative

Join schools nationwide who are bringing awareness to food allergies.

View Initiative

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In The Media

Please help us share awareness by publishing articles about Red Sneakers for Oakley on your publications.


Inspired by the life of Oakley Debbs

Oakley loved his red sneakers, Red Sneakers for Oakley strives to ensure that no other child loses their life from exposure to nuts.

Nut allergies are a highly misunderstood and underappreciated public health crisis. Given the pervasive role nuts of all kinds play in our diets, it is crucial to build a greater understanding of the risks – and potentially lethal impact – nuts can have especially on children.

To increase awareness and education, Red Sneakers will be producing a host of programs designed to explain the problem and present solutions.

Please stay tuned as we commence this important work.


Father's description of son Oakley recalls Martin Luther King’s words

“I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.”

The vibrant, loving, adventuresome life described by Bobby may have enabled Oats to “look over” and view, even in his tragically short lifespan, what has been promised to us all.

Click Here to read the full eulogy by Robert J. Debbs.

BRUCE A. MCALLISTER from the Daily News


The Restaurant Nut Allergy Awareness Initiative

Join the restaurants nationwide who are bringing awareness to food allergies by marking items on their menus with the Red Sneakers for Oakley logo which is becoming the symbol for "Food Allergy Awareness". We have provided the files below so that your menu designer can integrate the symbols into the menu. Also we ask that you place the logo which contains the statement this food may contain nuts somewhere on the menu so people understand what the Red Sneaker symbol is for.

Digital Assets:


Awareness In Our Schools Initiative

Join schools nationwide who are bringing awareness to food allergies. Especially during the month of May which is Allergy Awareness Month, we would like all schools to schedule a Red Sneakers for Oakley Day or Week. Please ask moms, school leaders, and PTA members to use the flyers (spanish & english) to pitch & present to their schoolboards a Red Sneakers for Oakley Awareness Day, that can include wearing red sneakers to school. Communities can also rally local Recreation Centers and organize soccer games (Oakley's favorite), walks for food allergy awareness, and wearing their red sneakers and cleats for their own activities. We have provided the posters below for you.

Red Sneakers for Oakley School Day:

Food Allergy Awareness Poster:

Red Sneakers Event Posters:

Food Allergies Are A Serious Issue

Thank You For Your Support


What happened to this young man is very real and very possible to happen again. I'd like to help raise awareness to help prevent cases like this. It's a terrifying reality that more should be aware of the seriousness of it all.

— Brittney McPeek

One food allergy mom to another---I support your cause Merrill. Thank you for raising awareness about the severity of food allergies! Praying for peace for your family during this devastating time.

— Autumn Chefan

We're supporting this campaign because our hearts break for the Debbs family. We hope that you find a small measure of comfort knowing that you are saving many lives with this campaign of knowledge and outreach. Love you Merrill, Bobby, and Olivia.

— Elizabeth Campbell

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