Every year in October to bring awareness to domestic violence and bullying, A.I.R. Project has its annual Soles for A.I.R. community outreach event. The event brings the community together by providing an informative yet fun-filled event, along with providing a new pair of shoes to under-served and at risk youth who have been exposed to or victimized by domestic violence, teen dating violence, bullying and other forms of abuse.
As we continue to grow this event, we are constantly seeking ways to expound and improve from the year before. This year we were granted the opportunity to partner with Houston Parks and Recreation Department, which has been a major milestone for us. We also received funding from City Connections again this year, which is a collaborative between the City of Houston and Case for Kids a division of Harris County Department of Education, as well as funding from the 5 Corners District.
This year, our 4th annual Soles for A.I.R. event, was held on October 27th. We had new community partners such as Y.A.P. (Youth Advocate Program), Out 2 Learn, and S.A.C. Life Clothing. We also had our dedicated community partner Code Red Pro Dance Team, and renowned therapist and speaker Mrs. Lola Clay, LPC to return and support us. Additionally, we partnered with area entrepreneurs and business owners to provide hair cuts to our male youths, make-up to our adolescent female youth, face painting for younger children, dental hygiene kits, and on-site health/STD screenings.
The event this year also had several "wow"factors, such as outstanding performances by Code Red Pro Dance Team and 2xclusive Performing Arts, Talk on Bullying by Mr. Sammy Veal, Talk on Self Love & Empowerment by Mrs. Lola Clay, LPC, and a culmination of our bullying presentation coupled with a live music performance of "Used To" newly released by Houston's own, Donnie Fresh! After this presentation and moment of silence, tears were falling, and emotions were provoked.
With around 200 or so people present and a lovely program smoothly unfolding, none of this would have been successful with YOU! Yes YOU! YOU-our volunteers were sooo amazing! We are very grateful for the hard work and efforts you all provided all the way to the last second! We really appreciated you and hope to work together again soon. YOU-our community partners were awesome. You provided invaluable and resourceful information to help our community grow strong, healthy, and informed. YOU-our business community partners were outstanding! You provided direct services and motivational words to help our youth feel inspired, empowered, handsome and beautiful! We thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
We also want to give a special thanks to: Little Caesars Pizza, Panda Express, and HEB for providing eatery and sweets for our event. Special thanks to our continual community sponsor for this event Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers. Thank you for sponsoring families year after year to receive a new pair of shoes. Thank you VFW Post 8925 Pilot Knob for sponsoring youth this year! Thank you City Connections and District K for continuing to support our cause and purpose to strengthen our youth, families, and communities. Thank you Donnie Fresh and your crew for not only reaching out to us but for pitching in the way you all did! Thank you 5 Corners District for seeing our vision and providing support to build our youth, families, and communities. Thank you Houston Parks and Recreation Department for allowing consistency to prevail. Thank you Academy (Edgebrook) for going the extra mile to help us purchase the shoes for the youth in need. Thank you schools, libraries, and community centers for sharing with families. We look forward to continuing to build our community together. #solesforair2019 #airproject