SAN ANTONIO – (Sept. 28, 2019) Continuing to support youth in the city, Fred Brock American Legion Post 828 hosted a Project Shoes event, themed “Back to the 80’s”, at the post’s event center.
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 social worker with Highlands High School, the program was started.”
The committee, led by Coleman, consists of community volunteers Raffeal Williams, Willie Collins, Sharon Hardeman and Helen Coleman. Members of the post’s executive committee and Unit 828 Auxiliary have assisted with every fundraiser for Project Shoes.
Additionally, Project Shoes has benefited from the assistance of renowned jazz artist Billy Ray Sheppard, who donated his talents to provide entertainment at the first Project Shoes event.
“While our events are usually held at the post,” said Alford. “Sheppard hosted a special Project Shoes fundraising event at Breeze Lounge that resulted in donations of $500 and over 40 pairs of shoes."
Post 828 is helping 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 increase students’ attendance, and can ultimately help increase graduation rates.
“One of our goals is to increase community awareness of the programs Post 828 provides and shine a positive light on our post,” said Alford. “The efforts by the Project Shoes Committee and Billy Ray Sheppard, along with assistance from Randolph Brooks and Firstmark Federal Credit Unions, have been of great assistance to our program and have increased community awareness of the good things the post is doing for the community.”