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Veterans donate shoes to foster youth
Shoes for foster youth
Famous Footwear store manager Rebecca Thomason, Bob Russell, Darla Kisner, Terry Murphy, Famous Footwear assistant manager Augustine Chavez and Wardee Gunner Bruce worked to provide 53 pairs of shoes for foster youth in Stanislaus County. - photo by ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal

Local veterans Bob Russell and Wardee “Gunner” Bruce, both active in Turlock’s American Legion chapter and Veterans of Foreign Wars post, purchased 53 pairs of Converse Chuck Taylors from Famous Footwear Friday morning, which will be gifted to foster children in need. The American Legion and VFW donated a combined $2,000 to the cause, orchestrated by Russell after he noticed a considerably empty donation bin for foster youth located inside Mattress Firm.

“There are 500 foster kids in Stanislaus County,” said Russell. “They’re going to love the shoes, I think, but I wish I could have bought 500 pairs.”

Famous Footwear district manager Robert Camargo arranged for Russell and Bruce to receive a 15 percent discount on their total purchase, and every other pair of shoes was 50 percent off, saving the veterans over $1,000.

Russell is challenging Turlock veterans and businesses to donate to the American Legion so that more shoes for foster children can be purchased, and those who would like to contribute can send checks to P.O. Box 128, Turlock, CA, 95381.