By Carrie Dillard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — In an attempt to assure all Laurel County students are prepared for another school year by having the proper footwear, the United Way of Laurel County is teaming up with local churches in a community-wide shoe collection in August.
Many churches have already signed up to participate, including Souls’ Harbor.
“We recognize that there’s a tremendous need for shoes in schools,” said Youth Pastor Brad Parrett, “and it’s a consensus among family resource directors that that is the one item they can’t keep enough of and takes more (out of their budgets) to buy.”
For the youth of Souls’ Harbor Church, this is a “local mission project.”
“These projects give our youth a deeper sense of appreciation for how well they have it and an awareness of the needs that are right here in our community,” Parrett said. “They don’t have to be a foreign missionary; they can do something here at home.”
They’ve named the ministry “Soles for Souls.’”
The church as a sizeable youth program, with an average of 60-70 kids attending every Wednesday night.
This is not the first time Souls’ youth have partnered with the United Way. Throughout the summer, Parrett and youth volunteers delivered meals to children under age 18 in conjunction with the Summer Feeding Program. The church sponsored its own daily delivery route.
Amanda Heuser, worship pastor, said this is just another way their church can give back to the community.
“You hear about the need, but I didn’t realize it until I saw it,” she said. Heuser, too, volunteered along the Summer Feeding route.
The church will host a month-long collection, allowing individuals to bring new shoes to each worship service or during office hours Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“We are just encouraging all our members to bring new shoes during the month of August,” Heuser said. “This is a great outreach.”
For more information, call 606-878-8453.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Individuals, churches, businesses or organizations should collect as many new pairs of tennis shoes for Laurel County youth during the month of August.
Shoes of all sizes are needed. Only new shoes will be accepted.
All shoes should be dropped off at the Old YMCA gym from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. August 26-29 or at the final Thursday Night Live on Thursday, August 29.
The donated shoes will then be divided among Family Resource Centers in Laurel County schools.
If you have any questions, contact Judy Nicholson, director of the United Way/United Aid of Laurel County, at 330-0702.