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SJPOA CF and PAAF's donation of sporting equipment to Katherine Smith Elementary School

by SJPOA Vice President Cat Alvarez


As much as I am honored to be your Vice President, I would be lying if I said I didn't miss working Foothill. Working Foothill was like home. I grew up very poor, one of six kids, my dad was in prison most of my elementary years, and we lived by very humble means.


Thanks to your toy donations during Blue Christmas, we had the fortunate opportunity of helping the students of Katherine Smith Elementary School. The teachers were buying toys with their own money due to the majority of the underrepresented children that attend the school would not have a toy or gift for Christmas otherwise. The POA, by means of your generosity, was able to give a toy to each child from kindergarten through sixth grade. You can imagine the surprise and joy as children watched uniformed officers deliver over 400 toys to them during the holiday season.


As we delivered the toys, their recess started and I watched Mr. Chris Ledezma, their P.E. teacher, wheel out a flimsy metal cart with 1 soccer ball, 1 bouncy ball, 1 beaded jump rope with most of the beads missing, and something deflated on the bottom; I have no idea what it was before its current, sad state. He informed me the cart was for the entire school and he was trying his best to keep the kids motivated and moving, and to stay happy and healthy.


After speaking with Lt. Mike White of PAAF, we collaborated and recently purchased their school’s Wish List of sporting equipment. Mr. Ledezma can now organize a flag football team, have soccer games with goals, and kids can play baseball and basketball at recess. We included some frisbees, jump ropes, and other outdoor equipment.


The children and staff are so grateful for your protection, care, and donations to the school. Your donations made these underprivileged children feel cherished and loved by the officers of the San Jose Police Department. Your donations are one of the many ways we are changing the narrative about Law Enforcement and all those who are honored to wear a badge.


Appreciate you all and all you do.


Stay Safe,

Cat Alvarez, Vice President San Jose Police Officers' Association


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