Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Church Focuses on Providing Shoes

Baxter Huxley was watching television with his wife one night when he saw a commercial about a company that matches every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes for a child in need.

That got the minister of Andrew United Methodist Church in Kathleen, GA browsing the Web in search of something similar his church could do. Huxley found Soles4Souls and started a shoe drive at Andrew UMC to help those in need.

Church members contributed almost 100 pairs of shoes during the first two weeks of the shoe drive, Huxley said. He said he hopes church members bring about one pair per person. That would bring the total to 175.

The shoe drive continues until the end of the month. When it ends, volunteers will use rubber bands to keep the shoe pairs together. They plan to send the shoes to the Soles4Souls warehouse in Alabama sometime in mid-September.

The church will pay for postage to the warehouse, Huxley said. Once the shoes are sorted and ready for shipment, Soles4Souls will pay for the postage for distributing the shoes, either in other countries or here in the United States, he said.

Andrew UMC’s mission is to be “the regional church with the worldwide vision.”

In fulfilling that calling, members have built a well in Kenya, valued at about $17,000, that provides clean water to 5,000 people, Huxley said.

Huxley and church members also have worked with Houston County Habitat for Humanity to build a home. The 12 churches for which Huxley served as a liaison took about half the time it normally takes to build a Habitat house.

People of “all faiths or no faith” may participate in the shoe drive, Huxley said.

Members of the community who wish to donate can bring shoes to Andrew United Methodist Church, 2430 Ga. 127, Kathleen. To contact the church, email Baxter Huxley at

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