‘Share the Shoes’ Initiative Donates Footwear to 520 Children Around The City

Dallas Police Department and Energy Transfer worked together to distribute $10,000 worth

The Dallas Police Department and Energy Transfer joined forces for the sixth consecutive year to donate about $10,000 worth of shoes to more than 520 children across Dallas. 

The initiative, known as “Share the Shoes,” was started by Officer Brian Nolff in 2017 after police on patrol consistently saw children out and about without proper footwear. This sparked the idea for the partnership with Energy Transfer. Now, the company hosts a donation drive each year for employees to collect shoes and then teams up with the police department to distribute them to children at schools and recreational centers across Dallas.

Now that Nolff is retired, Officer Mike Villanueva and Senior Cpl. Jose Gamez lead the initiative. Villanueva said that members of the Neighborhood Police Officers unit who work with the program get to see the children grow up each year.

“It’s important because it bridges the gap that we have with the police department and our community,” Villanueva said. “One of the things we do in the NPO unit is we spend a lot of time with the community — coming together to work together to make a safer neighborhood for them.”

For Gamez, his Dallas upbringing included police officers leading him in a positive direction. He wants to reciprocate that for current youth by giving them shoes they’ll need and enjoy leading up to the school year. 

“Seeing that relationship I had with neighborhood police officers and becoming the person I became now, I want to make sure I do the same thing to pass on the message to these kids,” Gamez said.

Lisa Coleman, Energy Transfer’s public relations and communications supervisor, also volunteers with the program. She said Energy Transfer is proud to support initiatives that benefit the community and help officers build relationships. 

“It’s very meaningful to hear the first-hand stories from these officers who witness the disparities that exist in our Dallas neighborhoods and are inspired to make a difference,” Coleman said. “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.”

The shoes left over from the distributions will be saved by the police department to give to families in need they meet during patrols and calls.

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