SAN ANTONIO – (Dec. 17, 2021) Continuing to support the youth in the city, Fred Brock American Legion Post 828 hosted their annual Project Shoes fundraiser featuring renowned jazz artist Billy Ray Sheppard and Band at the post’s event center. Additionally, the post held its Christmas party, which featured a free holiday meal.
Project Shoes is part of the post’s Children & Youth program, which raises funds to purchase new shoes for high school students within the post’s area of responsibility.
According to Post Commander Al Alford, Legionnaire Gus Coleman approached the post’s executive committee in 2017 to begin planning Project Shoes.
“For Coleman this was a personal issue going back to when he was a youth,” said Alford. “With assistance from Guadalupe Juarez, a school counselor with Highlands High School, the program was started.”
Post 828 is helping to make students productive members of the community. This simple gesture of purchasing a new pair of shoes increases the child’s self-esteem. In turn, the results help to increases students’ attendance, and can ultimately help to increase graduation rates.
“I remember my mother struggling to put clothes on our back, and shoes on the feet of six kids,” said Coleman. “I bought my first pair of shoes when I was 14 with money that I earned by working in a school program. I remember how my self-esteem increased when I bought them, so I want other young kids to experience the same.”
According to Coleman, Project Shoes has been very successful due to the support of Billy Ray Sheppard, who has been donating his talents to provide entertainment since the first Project Shoes event.
Special thanks to the post event staff and volunteers for their assistance in making this year’s Project Shoes and Christmas party a huge success, Alford said.
Receiving a temporary charter in 1946 as Post 402A, Fred Brock Post 828 is celebrating 75 years of serving veterans, their families, and the community on the East Side.