There is nothing more exciting when you’re a kid than getting a new pair of shoes. You can run faster, jump higher, do just about everything better because you have new shoes!
Unfortunately it’s a feeling that not all of the students in our area get to share in as they make their way to school each day. Many children and youth in our area go to school in hand me down shoes or old shoes that are on their last few steps. And even worse, many of them have never had the experience of having new shoes at all.
Now you might say, “What’s the big deal?” Shoes matter! Children are unable to play at recess because of ill equipped shoes. Young people can’t participate in band, choir, or sports because they can’t afford the shoes. And old ratty shoes are a target for bullies, another way to single out young people whose families are struggling to make ends meet.
Isaiah said, “How beautiful…are the feet of those who bring the good news.” Jesus washed his disciples feet, an act of beautiful service. And Paul reminds us that as Christians, we wear the Gospel of Peace as our shoes as we go out into the world. Shoes matter! Feet matter!
So as a way to serve our community so that kids can be kids, we are starting The Beautiful Feet Project. Working with the counselors and administrators of the Hillsboro, Festus, Dunklin, and Grandview School Districts, Zion Lutheran Church is providing new shoes to children who are in need of that faster, higher, better experience that only new shoes can bring.
Through donations and grants, we gather funds and groups of people together to go and shop for shoes. That’s right, our mission begins with shopping for shoes! After having been provided with the types and sizes of shoes that are needed, we go and purchase shoes for those students. The shoes are discreetly provided to the students who are in need of the shoes.
But it doesn’t stop there. Zion also leads the schools to give back as well! We will collect old shoes that will be shared with the Shoes and Hope Program, a local program that takes old shoes and turns them into clean water for children and families in South America.
It might seem too simple, but shoes can make a big difference. They can brighten a day. They can stop someone from being bullied. They can give someone a chance to step into a talent or ability that they didn’t know they had. But most of all, shoes, good shoes, let kids be kids.
Join us as we make sure that every child at our schools, have beautiful feet!
If you have any questions about how to start a Beautiful Feet Project in your congregation or wish to donate to this ministry, contact Congregation liaison Tim Krysl (email@example.com).