This past weekend, some members of our church volunteered at Shoes for Orphan Souls, a ministry of Buckner International. They take donations of new shoes, medical supplies, school supplies, and food and distribute them to several other countries around the world. We volunteered there once before this year, and we truly enjoyed meeting some of the great people who work for the ministry, and we came away with a feeling that we did a little part to make a difference.
We were tasked with sorting shoes, and we asked where the shoes came from. They told us they were part of shoe drives from various organizations, including schools, radio stations, and churches. One of the things that I thought was really awesome was seeing the notes that some people put into the shoes they donated. They were words of encouragement to whoever would receive that pair of shoes. In some cases, there were pictures of the donating family’s children, or maybe a child’s drawing made especially for them.
What really hit home for me this time was seeing a certain pair of shoes that I didn’t see the first time we had volunteered earlier this year. They weren’t special shoes, per se, just a pair of white, black and pink tennis shoes for a little girl. But what did make these shoes special was that my little girl has a pair just like them. Alina likes these shoes so much that she is on her third pair as she continues to grow out of them. What’s even more personal is that a little over five years ago, my little girl was in a baby house in Russia waiting for us to come get her, and the little girl who will receive these shoes may be waiting for parents, too.
In the midst of sorting through thousands of shoes, I took a picture and said a prayer for whoever receives them. I’ve shared that picture below so that you’ll be reminded that we need to do our small part to bring hope to children thousands of miles away who need to know that they are not forgotten. The other picture is my Alina with her shoes just like the ones that had been donated.
Thank you to Shoes for Orphan Souls for everything you do, as well as our small group that volunteered when they had plenty of other things they could be doing. You made a difference.