Monthly Mansfield Area Shoe Bank Opens Saturday
“Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes can change your life.” Author unknown
I had the opportunity to see how the Mansfield United Methodist Church, through their Shoe Bank ministry, gives area children confidence with the gift of new sneakers. And not just sneakers, they also get a pair of new socks and can pick a book, a winter hat or other winter wear, and a bible to take home.
Linda Farrer and Lynn VanOrden, program coordinators, explained that the Shoe Bank is funded completely through monetary donations and is for the benefit of children 18 and under who receive government assistance. Volunteer buyers search for sales and keep the shelves stocked with sneakers in as many sizes and styles as possible, with the hope that no child will be without. Gently used shoes may also be donated and are available to all members of a qualifying household. They also take donations of books and explained that there is a great need for books and posters for teenagers.
Linda shared a heart-warming story of a child who asked his birthday party guests to bring new shoes to donate to the Shoe Bank, instead of gifts for him. She also told about an older gentleman who cried when he found a pair of shoes in his size that were comfortable. “Helping others and knowing that we can make a difference for them is a great reward” stated Linda.
If you would like more information about how to donate or volunteer, please call the church office at 570-662-2411. Checks for monetary donations can be made out to the United Methodist Church with Shoe Bank in the memo and mailed to the First United Methodist Church at 67 E. Wellsboro St., Mansfield, PA 16933. The Shoe Bank is open at the church the second Saturday of every month (except June and July) from 9:30 AM until 12:00 noon.