Parents continue son's legacy of giving shoes to children in need
July 12, 2018 05:35 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Parents of a young Albuquerque man, who was killed after being in the wrong place at the wrong time, are carrying on his legacy.
Terry and Lawrence Vargas say their son Lawrence Charles had a huge heart.
When he was in fifth grade, he noticed a friend of his needed a new pair of shoes. Lawrence Charles gave that friend a pair of shoes. And he did it anonymously, not asking for a ‘thank you.’
Lawrence Charles’ parents still remember that day.
"The little boy said to me, 'Look Mrs. Terry, I have a secret pal, look at these shoes that I got.' Lawrence Charles was standing right behind him with a smile on his face and that was the first shoe give away," said Terry Vargas.
Through the rest of his schooling - into young adulthood, Lawrence Charles would donate shoes.
Tragically, in 2008, he was shot and killed in a random act of violence.
Even though all the grief, Terry and Lawrence continued their son's work - giving 100 pairs of shoes per donation to organizations throughout New Mexico.
Their latest gift is going to Locker 505.
"I know that's what Lawrence Charles would have wanted. It's one of the best places to make sure that children who need shoes get shoes," said Vargas.
The Director of Locker 505, Kim Kerschen, can’t say enough good things about the Vargas’ carrying on such an amazing act of kindness.
"Losing a son and doing something in his memory is huge, turning something horrific into something so important and precious," said Kerschen.
The 100 pairs of shoes will go to children who would otherwise do without.
"It makes a huge difference to their self-esteem, their confidence, how they feel about themselves - that's big for kids in school," said Kerschen
For Terry and Lawrence, it's hard to believe how much time has passed - so many shoes ago.
"In ten years that our son has been gone, we've given over 8,000 pairs of shoes in his memory," said Vargas.
The family says each donation keeps Lawrence Charles' spirit alive.
For Terry, it always goes back to that first pair.
"It's etched in my mind. I see him standing behind his pal and I see his pal smiling and Lawrence smiling at me and saying, 'don't tell him,'" said Vargas.
Updated: July 12, 2018 05:35 PM
Created: July 12, 2018 03:09 PM
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