Making a difference in the world is the theme of "The Christmas Shoe Tree," an outreach project at the Summit Baptist Bible Church by Katlyn Pollock, organizer, with assistance from Patrick Kelley and Elaine Boersma.
They are partnering with "Encouragement Inc" to help Kenyan children in need of shoes through donations and are collecting shoes, any size, in good condition or gently worn, ranging from children to adult sizes, that will be sent to a Webuye, in East Kenya. Due to the tropical climate in Kenya, they are not looking for boots. For two and a half weeks this summer, Pollock, along with a friend, visited Kenya as part of a mission program. She said, "We saw such a need. While I was there, I saw a lady who didn't have shoes, so I was able to give her my shoes. She was ecstatic and said it was her first pair of shoes ever…It (shoes) is such a small thing to us, but it's such a huge thing to them"
The trio, Pollock, Kelley and Boersma, are asking the community to help through shoes or donations. Monetary donations will be used to defray the cost to ship the shoes. Donations should be labeled S.L.A.M.M. Christmas Shoe Tree.
Pollock said their goal is to collect upward of 500 pairs of shoes. "If the community joins us, I think we could get 500 (pairs of shoes).
Shoes may be dropped off at National Running Center, 318 Davis Street, Clarks Summit, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or at the church, 232 Noble Road, South Abington Twp., anytime the church is open.
The project will culminate with a performance of "The Christmas Shoe Tree," a production of the S.L.A.M.M. kids' community program during the first week of December, featuring acting and music. Children grades Pre-K through seventh grade are invited to participate and no previous acting experience is required, said Boersma, choir director.
Kelley explained the play is about a Christmas tree farm. "We saw that the play showed giving, which I think really fits the Christmas spirit…it really tied in "
Boersma said, "It (music) is a way to help them (kids) incorporate God's love and who God is, and it's a way to remember that. I'm excited to teach these kids new songs they might not know and some old ones that they do in a new way. Music is an amazing way to be able to capture a child's heart."
The performance is open to children in the Abington community interested in being a part of the choir; a few acting parts in the performance are available. A parents' meeting will be held Sept. 2 at 12:15, following church services and practices will begin Sept. 9, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Summit Baptist Bible Church. Details will be available at facebook.com/sbbcslamm before Sept. 9.
The performance is open to the public. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 570.586.3351.