Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Q&A with St. Marks

St. Mark's United Methodist Church is collecting new and gently worn shoes to be distributed by Soles4Souls. Liz Rix, the church's mission coordinator, and Nancy Canning, a church employee recently sat down with Indystar to answer some questions about their mission and goals for the drive.

Question: Have you collected shoes for this organization in the past? Why did you choose this particular organization to help?

Answer: No, this is our first time to work with Soles4Souls. Three hundred million children around the world live barefoot, according to Soles4Souls. St. Mark's felt this would be a new mission opportunity for a worthwhile cause and something people could relate to, especially following the devastation of the flooding earlier this year in nearby communities.
Having shoes go to people who don't even have one pair rather than sit in closets or fill landfills provides benefits on several levels.

Q: Are there any congregation members who have family affected by the Midwest floods this year?

A: Yes, there are several who have family members (who) have been impacted this year.

Q: You mentioned that many have already donated shoes. What's the most typical kind of shoe people donate?

A: We have already received approximately 800 pairs of shoes. The donations include men's, women's and children's shoes, including many new pairs as well as gently used. There is really a wide variety from dress shoes, sneakers to flip-flops.

Q: Where are the shoes shipped to?

A: Our shoes will go to a Soles4Souls warehouse in Nashville, Tenn. Soles4Souls will ship them to areas of need in the United States and around the world from there.

Q: How do people who need shoes find out how to receive help?

A: Contact Soles4Souls Web site, www.giveshoes.org, for information.

Q: How many volunteers are involved in the project at St. Mark's?

A: The collection is a communitywide effort with St. Mark's volunteers working each week to sort the shoes as they are donated. This effort will take at least 25 volunteers.

Q: What other kinds of charitable drives does the church get involved in?

A: St. Mark's is a mission-oriented church, emphasizing a different collection each month such as school supplies for Operation Classroom; Brightwood Community Center and Interfaith Hospitality Network; food for local food pantries; Christmas Gifts for Fletcher Place Community Center and East 10th St. United Methodist Children & Youth Center; and other needs as they arise throughout the year. Soles4Souls is in addition to this ongoing effort.

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