In just a few short weeks, the congregation of Life Point Church in Portsmouth collected over $30,000 to purchase over 1,000 pairs of shoes for students in need across eleven local school districts.
Life Point’s Pastor, Darrell Nickles, challenged the congregation to provide shoes for every grade-school child in Scioto County who receives a Power Pack from the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund. These students face financial hardships and may not otherwise be able to have a new pair of shoes. The original goal was 780 students, but the church exceeded this goal, expanding their giving into middle schools until the funds ran out — totaling 1,000 students.
“We collect one offering called the “Be Rich” offering and 100 percent of the money received is given away. That offering was taken up on Dec. 4 and trusting that God would provide. We began measuring the students feet before we even received our offering for the shoes,” explained Outreach Team Coordinator Chad Monroe. “We were able to have the Portsmouth shoes delivered the same week we took our offering to purchase them.”
Prior to delivery, a group of volunteers meets with the students to measure their feet to ensure a proper fit. Afterwards the shoes are ordered through Scioto Shoe Mart. After the shoes come in, the volunteers go back into the schools to deliver them to the students.
“When we go to deliver shoes, we usually have 10-15 volunteers with us to help the kids. We just love on them and try our best to make the kids feel special. When they get their new shoes we clean their feet, place a new pair of socks on their feet and then put their shoes on them. Without the support and help from the Scioto Shoe Mart, this wouldn’t even be possible, Scott and Sheila Evans work really hard to find these kids top quality shoes. They are not selling us seconds or discount store quality shoes. They really go above and beyond,” explained Monroe.
“A lot of these kids seem sad when they come in to get their shoes. Most of them have a self worth that is pretty low to nonexistent. After they have their new shoes, they leave high stepping like a Clydesdale. They leave and skip down the hallway, jump up and down, and often go as fast as they can to show their teachers. I will never forget a little girl at Portsmouth that was excited to receive her new shoes so she could participate in Gym Class. She only had boots and couldn’t participate in the particular boots she had. Another little guy sat down to get his new shoes and told me he was so excited to receive his new shoes… timing couldn’t have been better. He told me, ‘I really needed news shoes, look at the hole in mine,’ once he had his new shoes on he was as proud as he could be.”
The group was able to deliver shoes to five schools prior to the Christmas break and will resume delivering when school is back in session after the New Year.
Monroe says Life Point is enthusiastic about providing for the community and will continue to serve in every capacity they can and encourages other churches to assist in their shoe project.
“As long as the Lord keeps providing we will continue blessing the community in some way. There are other churches and businesses who have stepped up to do shoes and by meeting other needs for these kids,” said Monroe. “This is the most contagious project I’ve ever been a part of. If other churches want to be a part of putting shoes on kids we will be glad to help them with how to go about doing it. This year Christ’s Sanctuary Church in Sciotoville is taking care of one of the schools. Other churches and businesses have worked together to do other shoe projects in our area. Jesus tells us to love each other as he loves us… this is just one way we love on our community and we would be thrilled for others to join the mission.”
For more information about Life Point, please visit www.lifepointportsmouth.com or on Facebook by searching “Life Point Church Portsmouth.”
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.