Dallas police recently donated shoes to more than 500 kids in their annual “Share the Shoes” event — an event that has been going on for the past six years.
Officers with the Northwest Division Neighborhood Police Officer Unit of the DPD were able to provide over 520 children with free shoes as a result of the initiative, which they hope will build relationships between law enforcement and the community they serve.
By partnering with energy corporations Energy Transfer and Sunoco LP, the department received enough donations to purchase hundreds of new athletic shoes and give them to kids from under-resourced communities.
“Over the years, many of these kids have gotten to know and recognize us through this initiative. It’s about creating positive relationships with police officers and learning that we are here to help,” Corporal Jose Gamez told NBCDFW5. “When we’re out on patrol, we often run into families in difficult financial situations, and we want to be able to help. Partnering up with Energy Transfer over the past six years with the Share the Shoes campaign has helped thousands of families relieve some of that financial stress.”
The department received donations totaling more than $10,000 to make the event happen.
Officer Brian Nolff first started the Share the Shoes campaign in 2017 after realizing that many children lacked proper footwear while on patrol.
But it’s not just about shoes.
DPD Officer Mike Villanueva said the initiative helps form stronger bonds between police officers and their communities.
“Building relationships within our community is a very important aspect of our job. Over the past six years, the Share the Shoes campaign has enabled us to bridge the gap and make a tighter bond and connection with the communities we serve,” Villanueva said.
Chris Curia, executive vice president and chief human resources officer of Energy Transfer said he is proud of their company’s supports for law enforcement.
“It’s very meaningful to hear the firsthand stories from these officers who witness the disparities that exist in our Dallas neighborhoods and are inspired to make a difference,” Curia said. “Energy Transfer is proud to be a Dallas-based company and support initiatives that help strengthen our local community-especially programs like this that help support the safety of our officers and children by building positive relationships within the communities they serve. We are very grateful for the selfless and often dangerous work that our police officers do, and we’re proud to continue our relationship with the Dallas Police Department.”
Energy Transfer is a leading provider of midstream energy services in the U.S, with 120,000 miles of pipelines and energy infrastructure across 41 states.
The company’s website states that it focuses on the transportation and storage of natural gas, crude oil, natural gas liquids and refined products.
“Both Energy Transfer and Sunoco LP have longstanding commitments to strengthen local communities,” said Vicki Granado, vice president of communications for the company.
“We hope to continue this campaign for years alongside the DPD,” Granado added. “We are grateful for the selfless and often dangerous work that our police officers do.”