By Catherine Driscoll of RED Communications in Lake Forest
Imagine going through your day without shoes. Imagine walking down the driveway to pick up the newspaper, stepping onto a train, or waiting at the bus stop in the slush and snow. For most of us, shoes are a simple fact, a given. It’s not that we take them for granted exactly, but we just don’t appreciate them enough.
“Shoes are like shelter… for your feet,” said 10-year-old Ethan Lane from Lake Bluff. “We can’t go without shelter. I think it’s just as important to have clothes and shoes as it is to have a home.”
Ethan and his friends at the Union Church of Lake Bluff are collecting adult and kids shoes for Soles 4 Souls, an international non-profit agency that has redistributed more than 19 million shoes since its founding in 2005.
New and gently used shoes may be dropped off in the bins at the front and rear entrances of the church, located at 525 Prospect Avenue, Lake Bluff, Illinois, through March 9, 2013. All shoes are welcome; athletic and walking shoes are especially appreciated.
The Union Church of Lake Bluff has a strong culture of outreach: the church family provides dinner for the homeless once per month at P.A.D.S., continuously supports local non-profits like Bernie’s Book Bank and Mothers Trust Foundation, and creates gift boxes for soldiers in Iraq, to name but a few. (The full calendar of outreach activities can be seen at http://uclb.org/id23.html) This is the 6th year UCLB has collected shoes for Soles 4 Souls.
A recent Sunday morning spent sorting shoes led these children to consider a world without them. “Without shoes, people can damage their feet, especially in Africa,” said Sophia Bienkowski, age 12. “Or if they live in Chicago where it’s cold, they could get frostbite!”
Joshua Lane, age 10, shared this concern: “Without shoes, bugs could get on your feet.” Fourth grader Haven Platcow said, “If you have shoes, you won’t get a stick in your foot when you’re walking.”
So go through your closets and pull out the shoes you never wear and the shoes your children have outgrown, and bring them to the Union Church of Lake Bluff before March 9, 2013. You don’t even have to clean them! The kids are planning to do that.
Hannah Bienkowski, age 9, summed it up nicely: “I’m glad that our church is doing things to help other people.”
At the Union Church of Lake Bluff, Christians of different backgrounds gather, with respect for our differences, with compassion for those in need, and with the deep desire to discover God’s presence and God’s calling in our lives. Together, we seek to be the church that God is calling us to be: caring for one another; reaching beyond ourselves; and humbly seeking to make a difference in today’s world. Come as you are; all are welcomed. For more information, go to: http://www.uclb.org.