DALY CITY, CA — Fil-Am Berkeley police officer Christopher Flores and his wife Stephanie created “The Szn Pop-Up,” which called for people to donate brand new or slightly worn shoes or clothing to deserving students.
“We came up with the idea to help out kids who have been through some adversity and are still on the right path and basically recognizing for what they’ve done,” said Chris Flores.
“They have to worry about what’s going on in the country, with our government, all the controversies,” said Stephanie Flores. “Through all of that, all the kids are focusing on staying positive, staying out of trouble, not falling into outside influences and for that we just want to do this event and thank them.”
And for the past six months, the Floreses have been collecting a wide range of clothing and money that will be distributed to 15 students from across the Bay Area.
“When we started this I thought we were just going to get kids that just turned around their grades but as I started hearing their stories it was just amazing. These kids have been through a lot in their young lives.”
Kids like Eduardo, who after school goes directly to work until 3:30 in the morning to provide for his mother and 11-year-old brother.
They have been living in a shelter since escaping danger in his native Mexico.
Or kids like Shaker and Mohamed, who found themselves with the wrong crowd after coming from Yemen. Then they found each other and have been on the straight path since.
Shaker has been fighting cancer since he was recently diagnosed.
The Floreses also teamed up with the Filipino-owned barbershop “The Cutlery” in Daly City to give these kids fresh new haircuts going into Christmas and the new year.
“when we opened up the shop one of our main things was to always give back to the community. And we’re glad to have people around us who believe in the same thing. And giving back to the youth and making sure that you are appreciated and there are people who do care especially during this time of year,” said co-owner Jason Pulido.
The Cutlery and the Floreses hope that with a new set of clothes and a fresh cut these kids will be motivated to continue doing good.
“We know what it’s like to be in high school in your teens, your pre-teens. Image is almost everything. Nowadays kids can be mean so this our way of showing our appreciation and letting them know we know you’re going through.”
Other than the clothes, each student received $150 to either H&M or Footlocker.
The Floreses look to make this a tradition and hold it again next year.