When school opens next week, 150 students at Alvin ISD will walk into class for the first time with brand new shoes thanks to 150 adults who never met them before the SoleMates celebration Saturday.
SoleMates was the dream of Regina Stredic with Communities in Schools. Over the years, Stredic has used her position at Alvin High School to collect clothes, prom dresses and even food for students in need.
So when she heard about students needing shoes, she did what she always does — ask people in the community to help those struggling.
“I just asked,” Stredic said Saturday as adults filled the cafeteria at Alvin High School with bags and gifts of shoes.
“Some are teachers, some are classmates from when I was in Alvin High School, some are family.”
On Saturday, they came to Alvin High School with their shoes — almost all name brands were seen — and were given the name of their SoleMate. After everyone signed in, the adults then walked around the cafeteria looking for the child they had purchased shoes for.
The children and their families were treated to breakfast and, eventually, new shoes. All of the children were happy and some were jumping up and down as they received their shoes.
Julie Saldivar purchased shoes before she met her SoleMate, who turned out to be 6-year-old Kegan Welch.
Saldivar said she wanted to make sure a child had good shoes to start school.
“I’m a school counselor so I see the need,” Saldivar said. “For a kid to walk in with confidence on the first day of school means the world. Plus I like shopping for boys. I have two girls.”