By Carrie Dillard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Members of the Eastside Church of God will be worshipping without shoes on Sunday, Aug. 25.
From Sunday School on, all of the Corbin congregation will be asked to live one morning without shoes, in order to open their eyes to a community-wide ministry happening in Laurel County this month.
In an attempt to assure all students are prepared for another school year by having the proper footwear, the United Way of Laurel County is teaming up with local churches to collect as many new pairs of tennis shoes for Laurel County youth during the month of August.
“Each month, our youth wants to participate in a community outreach program, like this one,” said Justin Wyrick, with the Eastside college and career class. “This is a real life problem right now. I’ve never experienced it; can’t imagine going to school in worn out house shoes.”
After hearing some of the stories of children in need throughout the county, he said the church youth was driven to help.
In addition to “No Shoe Sunday,” the youth will be hosting a spaghetti dinner on August 18, starting at 1 p.m. following morning worship. All are welcome to attend. The entrance fee is a donation of a pair of shoes.
“And it doesn’t have to be the most expensive pair of shoes. Any new pair will help. We want to supply the school system with shoes,” Wyrick said.
He said they've already received donations, even before the dinner.
“School is starting now. It’s our duty to be the hands and feet of Christ to supply these kids with what they don’t have.”
“No Shoe Sunday” is just one church’s outreach, but there are many more who have started their own shoe drives. Other participating churches include: First Baptist Church East Bernstadt, First Baptist London, Freedom Christian Fellowship, Souls’ Harbor Church, Carmichael Community Church, First United Methodist Church (CONNECT ministry), Pilgrim Rest, Calvary Baptist, First Christian Church, Bethel Holiness Church, East Bernstadt Church of God and Living Hope Church.
Even some local businesses and organizations have gotten on board. These include: Senture, Jackson Energy, London-Laurel County Chamber of Commerce, and Saint Joseph London.
But absolutely anyone can donate, including youth groups, dance teams, and families. 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.
During this culminating event at TNL, First Baptist East Bernstadt will lead an inspirational dance, entitled “Dance Your Shoes Off Laurel County.”
Eastside Church of God is located on Old London Highway in Corbin. Wyrick and youth invite everyone to join them on “No Shoe Sunday” August 25.
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.