“Good News Shoes” in Noblesville, Ind., is a project of Calvary Baptist Church that aims to put shoes on the feet of children in need each Fall as the weather turns cold. The initiative is in keeping with Luke: 15:22 – “when the prodigal son returned, his father commanded … ‘put shoes on his feet’…”
An $1,100 Matthew 25 Grant from American Baptist Churches USA gave impetus to the project this year. “Although Hamilton County, where Noblesville is located, is known as one of the wealthier counties within Indiana, there are still many families in need of financial assistance of a helping hand of love,” explains Calvary’s Patricia Emerick. “For the past three years putting shoes on the feet of school-age children has been placed on the hearts of the Mission Board at Calvary.”
Emerick says the congregation became aware of the negative impact that inadequate footwear can have on a student’s ability to concentrate and learn in the daily school setting. “Shoes that are too small and hurt feet can impair participation in school activities,” she says. “Shoes that don’t provide enough coverage during cold days also make it hard to concentrate. Unfortunately some parents find themselves struggling to pay utility bills, and that puts new shoes low on the priority list.”
The Matthew 25 Grant was paired with revenue generated by several fundraisers at local restaurants and a farmers’ market, raising $2,600 in all. “It was our most successful year ever,” Emerick says. In September the church presented gift cards to Noblesville school officials so that more than 52 pairs of shoes could be purchased. “We’re so grateful for the grant and feel blessed for this opportunity to serve God in this way,” Emerick says.
Would you like to view a brief video on the scope of the project? A little production by a Calvary youth member, Kayla Hill, may be viewed here.
The Matthew 25 Grant initiative, sponsored by ABCUSA and the Board of General Ministries, is funded by a generous, anonymous donor whose goal is to help meet the needs of “housing, feeding, education and health with regard to the less fortunate.”
The application process for a Matthew 25 Grant is structured to help small ministries with limited staff time. For more information on the grant and application process visit: www.abc-usa.org/matthew25.