ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – After a year of helping students, the AISD closet for students experiencing homelessness was looking a little bare. One Abilene business’s donation of $5,000 created a ripple effect, as it was matched by a second business. 

Empty bins and scarce shelves were seen during a previous report, as the AISD program was seeing a larger need than ever before, specifically with shoes. This scene was enough to break the heart of Matt Loudermilk, co-owner of Cornerstone Custom Homes. 

“Every child should have that opportunity to have good clothing, you know, everything they need to go to school,” said Loudermilk. 

This mainly touched him because he is a father first and foremost. He shared that all of his children went through AISD and his wife was a teacher there for several years. 

Because of these deep roots, Loudermilk and co-owner, Tim Ellis, were moved to pledge $5,000 to the program, and that donation was matched by Hanner Chevrolet. 

“To hear that there was that many homeless children in the Abilene school district, it was heartbreaking,” Loudermilk explained. “We felt this was a great opportunity to help in an area that is sorely needed.” 

This aid is something that Darrin Cox said helped the program get out of a difficult situation. When asked how he felt about the donation, responded with, “Look out shoe store. Here we come.” 

“We got hit so hard with a lot of need this past year,” Cox explained. “We were just trying to figure out exactly how to find the shoes, and we’re looking into getting some socks to make sure we can get through the start of school.” 

With this money, Cox said they will go ‘dollar for dollar,’ buying underwear, socks, and new shoes for the students experiencing homelessness to receive at the beginning of next school year. 

Not only did Loudermilk donate to this program, but this entire situation inspired Cornerstone Custom Homes to create ‘Cornerstone Cares’ with plans to get more involved in helping others.  

Cornerstone Custom Homes staff is also encouraging those attending the ‘Parade of Homes’ this weekend and next weekend at 6617 Randy Avenue to bring shoes, underwear, and socks to give to the district’s program.