Faces of Christmas

To honor his parents, this West Fresno mentor makes sure children have shoes to wear

Danny Alberty at his fifth annual new and used shoe giveaway at the Pinedale Community Center during their holiday event. He works for Edison High School in West Fresno as an assistant football coach and campus security assistant.
Danny Alberty at his fifth annual new and used shoe giveaway at the Pinedale Community Center during their holiday event. He works for Edison High School in West Fresno as an assistant football coach and campus security assistant. jwalker@fresnobee.com

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Faces of Christmas

The Fresno Bee's 12 Faces of Christmas is a tribute to unsung residents in the central San Joaquin Valley who make it their mission to help year-round.

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The basics: Danny Alberty works as a campus security assistant and assistant football and track coach at Edison High School. He was named both Fresno Unified Classified Employee of the Year and Fresno County Educator Employee of the Year in 2016.

What he does: For the past five years, Alberty has put together a giveaway of new and used shoes in memory of his parents, Quincy and Joyce Alberty. This year, the “Thank God my Feet are Off the Ground” giveaway took place at Pinedale Community Center, where Alberty and his family passed out about 350 pairs of shoes.

Why he does it: “My mom always kept shoes on our feet. My dad, too,” Alberty said. “I’m a product of West Fresno, where a lot of kids grew up in poverty. I’ve been (working) there 35 years and I’ve seen some kids year after year with the same shoes.”

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Danny Alberty at his fifth annual new and used shoe giveaway at the Pinedale Community Center during their holiday event. JOHN WALKER jwalker@fresnobee.com

The turning point: Alberty said he and Edison High mentor Tony Perry, who died earlier this year, had been best friends for 40 years. Growing up in West Fresno, they both had a dream. “We always said if we ever make it in life, we wanted to give back,” Alberty said.

Details, details: Alberty collects socks and shoes all year. He and his daughter, wife and niece run the giveaway, making sure the shoes are in good condition before they are given out. Anyone can pick up shoes and socks during the giveaway, and no proof or paperwork is needed.

What others say: Joey Muñoz, a vice principal at Edison High, said Alberty is more than a sports coach – he’s a life coach. “He’ll exhaust all of his resources to make sure students have an equal chance,” Muñoz said. “He’s very instrumental in mentoring and getting those connections with kids. They really respond to his leadership.”

How you can help: Donations of socks and new or used shoes can be dropped off all year long at Edison High or by contacting Alberty at 559-681-3250.

Ashleigh Panoo: 559-441-6010, @AshleighPan

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