Tattered sneakers with toes poking through may be just the thing for lazy summer days, but the upcoming school year calls for serious new shoes. Manchester UMC’s Sneakers with Soul ministry’s mission is to put shoes on the feet of area children and youth in need, working toward a day when no child goes back to school without new shoes.
Since its inception in 2010, Manchester UMC has collected and distributed over 12,000 new sneakers to children and youth in need in the St. Louis area. These shoes have been distributed to clients of Kingdom House, a United Methodist social service agency serving families on the near southside and to Operation Food Search.
Beginning in 2012, a fun-filled Back-To-School Celebration and distribution event has taken place at Peabody Elementary School in the Kingdom House neighborhood. Children and youth not only receive new shoes, but through partnerships with other UMC churches and social service agencies, they receive backpacks, school supplies, and much more to help them prepare for a new school year.
“It’s through the generosity of the friends and members of Manchester United Methodist that this very worthwhile ministry continues in its now going into its 7th year. With the continued generosity of Manchester UMC our goal for 2016 will be to receive donations of 1,200 pairs of new sneakers.” – Maurice ‘Moe’ Parisien, chairperson, Sneakers with Soul Ministry