Paired with the El Paso Sheriff department, the Professional Staff Association (PSA) are asking for donors as the first-ever “Put Yourself in My Shoes and Socks” drive continues throughout July.
“This drive to help others, started when we saw that there was a real need to provide assistance to our members, who becoming ill, ran out of sick leave,” Carmen Wages, chair of the humanitarian outreach committee (HOC) and treasurer of the professional staff association, said.
Vladimir Avina/Tejano Tribune
Martin Delarq, EPCC Valle Verde campus ISC employe places a donation for the shoe drive.
“When the HOC was writing the mission statement, we wanted it to be inclusive of our community.
So whenever there is a need, like family, we get together and help each other and the sheriff’s department provides a great resource in helping us pinpoint and service that need.”
The sheriff’s office became involved when deputies responding to calls in the county identified families with
children who were in need of some basic amenities, mainly shoes. Many of these families live or have lived in an area of the county known as Las Colonias.
Eighteen-year sheriff veteran Sgt. Michael Lara said requests were made to the sheriff’s public information office to collaborate with other partners to donate shoes for families in need.
“The reaction is priceless,” he said. “The endless ‘thank yous’ are worth more than money. There is no better feeling than knowing that it will have a positive impact and help change the view the public has about law enforcement from ‘only taking people to jail’ to helping out the community they serve.”
The PSA is asking for donations of new or lightly used pairs of shoes of any kind to be dropped off at one of the Instructional Service Center (ISC) offices, located at every EPCC campus, during regular business hours to help with the growing needs within the community.
Set at the collection site at the Administrative Service Center (ASC) building room B-280, four month PSA member Ivan Flores said the drive is a big help to those in need.
“This shoe and sock drive is a good idea,” he said. “Especially for low income families and individuals who find it hard to come by these basic necessities of life.”
In the spirit of partnership with its donors, PSA will donate a new pairs socks with every pair of shoes received from each participant of the drive.
“We hope to enjoy the same level of success as we did with the coat drive earlier this year,” Nancy Tharp, EPCC risk manager and HOC member, said.
“By supplying socks the same size as shoes, a perfect match can be successfully available to those in need. It is only logical that the type of socks will be suitable for the type of shoes donated.”
With her driving force being the needs of other, Valle Verde Instructional Service Center Manager Laura Rosales said the community needs to stop and take a moment to think about the needs of those less fortunate.
“People have grown insensitive about the needs of others in this fast-paced society,” she said. “We’re blessed to work for a well-known Aspen award-winning institution, giving back to a community that supports us is just one way we can show our gratitude.”
Donations will be accepted until July 31.
“There’s a lot of generous people here at EPCC, it doesn’t take a lot to help, a little bit makes a big difference,” Wages said. “If everyone continues to band together and not differentiate between classifications, we can make an even greater impact here in El Paso.”
For more information about the drive, contact Carmen Wages at (915) 831-6349 or Nancy Tharp at (915) 831-6444, or visit the nearest EPCC ISC office for further details.