SAN ANTONIO – The count is in and thanks to a partnership between KSAT Community, the San Antonio Police Department and Good Samaritan Community Services, more than 1600 pairs of shoes have been collected to give out to families in and around the Alamo City.
Officer Jonathan Cokerham is a member of SAPD’s San Antonio Fear Free Environment Unit and is one of the officers instrumental in the Share the Shoes drive to help families in and around the community.
“With this one child’s illness and the treatment that was needed, they didn’t have Christmas things for her and being able to bring not only Christmas presents, but the shoes that she needs, it brought a smile on her face that I’m not going to forget for years,” Cokerham said.
“The holidays are extremely stressful financially, and having a warm new pair of shoes goes a long way, especially for the families that we serve at Good Samaritan,” Alejandra Arquisola, senior director of Good Samaritan Youth Programs said.
Today, Christmas music was playing as tables were filled and officers and volunteers were sorting.
“Somebody is going to have a nice pair of shoes for Christmas. Some people are going to have some nice pairs of shoes for Christmas. I mean, you can see that there’s a lot of shoes here. This bag and shoes here, this bag. So we’ve covered the gamut and hopefully this will bring a little bit of holiday warmth to some folks,” SAPD Police Chief William McManus said.
There are so many types of shoes, all shapes and sizes, everything from Crocs to Paw Patrol – but the important part is that the donations will help hundreds and hundreds of families.
“Every single child that we serve at Good Samaritan is going to get a pair of shoes, because we serve about 20 individuals annually. So that means that every single one will get a pair of shoes. It means that we are taking a little bit of that stress and that financial burden off from our families. And I am excited to see them running around in them, honestly,” Arquisola said.
It is inspiring to see the piles of donations. And for some, it is an emotional experience.
“Being able to put a smile on a child’s face and bring them these shoes. It’s something you can’t forget,” Cokerham said.
If you missed out on helping through November, you can still give back and take part if you are interested. For more information, click here.