Fort Worth police team up with non-profit to give away hundreds of sneakers to kids in need

Fort Worth police and a non-profit teamed up to help some families and students in need.

It may sound simple, but a good pair of sneakers can go a long way.

Hundreds of families stopped by a South Fort Worth elementary school for an afternoon of not just fun but basic necessities that some of us take for granted.

What brings a family full of siblings to the neighborhood elementary school on Friday afternoon in 90-degree heat two weeks after classes ended? For starters, a new pair of shoes for a lot of little growing feet.

The Annual Souls for Souls event is sponsored by the non-profit Fort Worth Metro in partnership with the Fort Worth Police Department. It gives South Fort Worth Families a little food, fun and a lot of family time.

The thousands of shoes donated for families in need were more of a lifesaver than you may realize.

"Sometimes, I’ll start losing my shoes at home because my sister needs them since we’re the same shoe size. So I’ll let her borrow it so she can come to school," said 13-year-old Anahi Chavira.

An unfathomable scenario for some, but a challenging reality for many families who live near Carter Park Elementary School.

"I really happy and grateful. It’s a great event," said parent Conny Gonzales.

Volunteers even threw in a mini pedicure for kids to go along with their new set of kicks.

Giveaways included toys, clothing, TVs and new bicycles.

13-year-old Denise Villegas was beaming to see her little brother with a bike of his own. But she said the food was her favorite part.

And while the event is nothing new, organizers say the pandemic brought a fresh set of challenges with some parents navigating through unemployment during the last year.

It's more than worth it for dozens of volunteers who say they’re just happy to see a smile on little faces.

"They need food and groceries and new shoes, but honestly they just need love," said volunteer Gabby Calzada.