June 24, 2024 11:11 am

Christmas arrives early for local foster children thanks to local plastic surgeon

For the fourth consecutive year, local plastic surgeon Dr. Rouzbeh Kordestani held his annual “Christmas after Christmas” event to help foster families get their children new shoes on a cold Saturday morning at Shoe Carnival in Amarillo.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, last Christmas the event had to be done with families driving up to and receiving shoes in their vehicle, but this year, all families gathered at Shoe Carnival and were able to have the store to themselves as they picked out shoes.

Kordestani, who said he had a history of doing medical missions in places such as Africa, said he became aware that there were many in need of help locally and throughout the country. Since then, he has been involved with the Greater Amarillo Foster Parent Association to help provide needed support to the families it serves. He said he has been involved with the organization with various events and contributions over the past 12 years.

“It became obvious that while we were focusing on many other places, we were completely neglecting people in our own backyard. When brought up about these needs locally, we revamped our focus,” he said.

About five years ago, Kordestani became aware of the significant needs of children in the area for specific clothing items. When asked why he chose shoes, Kordestani said he really did not know that this was such a great need until the Foster Parent Association told him about the need.

“I didn’t even think about it until the association told us about the enormous impact of kids being able to get new shoes for the return to school after Christmas. We gave shoes to every kid in the family that came to the event,” he said.

About 30 families with a total of 87 children were given shoes Saturday at this year’s event. Children were allowed to choose whatever shoe they liked up to a limit of $55,which covered most of the shoes at Shoe Carnival. Smiling children and parents went from row to row to find the perfect shoe for them.

One of the many families that could get shoes for their family today was the Brannon Family. Getting shoes for both of his children, Chris Brannon was pleased that this event was made available to his two sons, Parker and Oryan.

“I am very excited; I love getting shoes,” Parker Brannon said. “My other shoes were getting pretty old.”

Parker Brannon said that his favorite color shoes were black and blue.

“It is exciting to get new shoes,” Oryan Brannon said.

Val McClane felt that the event was a godsend for the family.

“I am so grateful for the doctor to do this,” McClane said. “This is great that they do this for the community each year. This is definitely a need in my household.”

Mark Kile, a partner in the event, spoke about how honored he was to be a part of the event.

“I was an underprivileged kid growing up, one of six kids,” Mark Kile said. “I can relate to these kids and their needs for shoes. This is a very positive thing to be able to be a part of for the community.”

Other partners in the event were Kordestani’s staff members and Gold’s Gym and Shoe Carnival.

Adam Shepard, manager for Shoe Carnival, spoke of the very fortunate partnership he felt it was to be involved with.

“Seeing the kids’ eyes light up as they pick out their shoes is a present in itself for me,” Shepard said. “It was so great to be able to help make many of these kids’ Christmas better.”

Amy and Jon Moffett brought their newly adopted daughter Carolynn and other members of their family to get shoes. Jon Moffett had just gotten over being hospitalized recently with COVID-19 and appreciated the gesture of Dr. Kordestani.

“This is really helped us to be able to get other items for Christmas with this event providing new shoes to our children,” Jon Moffett said. “With my health issues, it was quite a blessing.”

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