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Christian Assistance Ministry (CAM) was founded in the 1970s by nine San Antonio downtown churches.  The organization offers help to those in need, particularly our city’s homeless, by offering food, shelter and vitally-needed personal items as well as counseling and spiritual services.  CAM advocates for those in need in countless ways.

A San Antonio gentleman named Richard has gained help from CAM a number of times over the past decade.  CAM has offered him food, shelter and clothing when he needed it as Richard was struggling just trying to survive living on the city streets.  After several incidences of support from CAM, Richard began to see that the organization was so much more than a one stop shop for his needs.

Though he had been in and out of the prison system for a number of years, Richard was lucky enough to find a steady job but, unfortunately, could not afford the costly steel toe boots he needed for his employment.  Little did he know that CAM had recently partnered with San Antonio Police Officer Zavala in what Zavala had named the “Soles for Souls” program.  This program allows willing police officers to donate their gently used steel toe boots to CAM so that people like Richard can have a fresh start and a secure job.

Officer Zavala had been having some limited success personally with his idea but wanted to take it further.  He went to CAM asking permission to donate the boots, meet the recipient and possibly share their story and a photo.  When CAM found out Richard needed work boots, they were thrilled to throw the new plan into action.  Richard was so surprised to see a police officer walk in and donate to him a great pair of work boots.  Both Richard and Zavala were teary eyed at the exchange and Richard was very appreciative to receive this gift of sorts from an officer of the law after his last stint in prison had been for assaulting an officer.

Police officers are public servants. They care about their community and those who are working hard to find their place in it. We’re happy to give back whenever possible.  Our thanks go out to Christian Assistance Ministries for helping us broaden this program.

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