Anonymous donation helps Salvation Army host shoe giveaway

Special to the News

As community leaders and families gathered in the back of the local Walmart, the eagerness and excitement was clear to see. Dozens of children were ready to race through the aisles in search of the perfect pair of shoes as soon as the word was given.

Thanks to a generous grant from an anonymous donor, the Salvation Army was able to provide close to 80 families from Rio Hondo with shoes for the new school year.

“Our family has had a rough couple of months, especially financially, so this opportunity is a big deal for us,” said Jeremy Cantu, who’s niece and nephew were both able to get a pair of shoes. “The kids were so excited when they found out they could pick out their own shoes… we’re beyond grateful as a family for this opportunity.”

According to Wendy Deul, the current commanding officer of Harlingen’s Salvation Army, the idea of a shoe giveaway came from a donor who became a lawyer after a childhood of living in poverty. While Deul added that the donor wished to remain anonymous, she noted that the name of the program will be called Alfaro Shoes moving forward.

“This donor gave a very large amount to the Salvation Army with the only stipulation being that his donation went to kids in need for back to school shoes,” said Deul. “It’s a blessing to be able to do this for the kids and see the smile on their faces. The economy right now is hard on everyone so any relief we can provide is a big positive for us.”

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