The First Presbyterian Church of Verona is beginning a project to collect new and gently used shoes to send to those in Africa for whom a pair of shoes might prevent disease. “Kick-off” for the project will be at the 10:15 a.m. worship service on Sunday, September 18. The congregation will be invited to literally kick off their shoes and experience life bare-footed.
In cooperation with a non-profit organization called Soles for Jesus, the congregation is collecting new and gently used shoes through size 12. The community is invited to bring shoes to the church and leave them in the collection box inside the back door. Sandals and flip-flops do not provide the necessary protection and will not be accepted. Cash contributions will be used to purchase new shoes and for shipping.
Pastor Erik Spencer says that shoes are something that we take for granted every day, as we choose our favorite pair from our closet floor. Many of us are unaware that millions of people across our globe live barefoot lives. Often, these feet are the only form of transportation available, carrying them everywhere they need to go. Because of the unsanitary conditions of their roads and paths, diseases often spread through the open sores on their feet. A pair of new or gently used shoes is a simple cure to prevent many of these diseases. It is estimated that over one billion pairs of unworn shoes are taking up space in U.S. basements and closets. Some are outdated or outgrown but many of them are in good condition and considered a treasure in a Third World country.
First Presbyterian Church is at 10 Fairview Ave at the corner with Bloomfield Avenue. Parking is in back. The church will be open for donations of shoes Mondays through Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.