A Texas cross-country team might have thought they were being punk'd—but Ashton Kutcher really did come through for them in a pinch. Monica Gutierrez tells CNN that her son, an eighth-grader at the IDEA Tres Lagos school in McAllen, joined the cross-country team this year, and one of his teammates got injured because he couldn't afford real running shoes; he was practicing and competing in everyday sneakers. With the boys' regional meet approaching and no extra money of her own to help out, Gutierrez remembered that Kutcher had recently posted a phone number on Instagram asking fans to text him, and because Gutierrez knew about his past work with children, she figured she'd see if he could help get new running shoes for the whole team: "I thought, 'Come on, let's give it a shot.'"
Gutierrez texted the number, which spit back an auto reply with a link to the Community service used by stars to communicate with fans. After posting her message there, she then got an email telling her to send shoe specs to Kutcher's rep, Matt Kulina. Later that week, she found six new pairs of Asics running shoes on her stoop; another pair of size 13 shoes is on its way. Kulina tells USA Today that Kutcher, who's helping to launch the Community service, receives messages through the app, then decides which ones to get involved with. TechCrunch, the New York Times, and Wired explain more about the service, which is the new incarnation of a mobile app called Shimmur. As for the boys and their new shoes, they won regionals and placed third at the state meet. "I didn't expect it to happen," Gutierrez tells CNN. "The only thing we want is to say thank you for everything [Kutcher] has done." (Read more Ashton Kutcher stories.)