SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — “As we’d been partnering with these schools we asked them what they needed this Christmas and all three schools said that they need shoes very badly,” Brady Funkhouser, a pastor at Parer Hill Church, said.
Parker Hill Church is helping kids end this year on the right foot. The church began the ‘Best Foot Forward Project’. People of the church raised money to buy brand new shoes or snow boots for students at three schools in Northeastern Pennsylvania . Their hard work paid off – on Monday they began to distribute the shoes at Charles Sumner Elementary school.
“Especially here at Charles Sunmer, most of the kids walk to school since they’re so close so especially for Charles Sunmer the snow boots are really important for them to not have to trek through the snow in the winter time with unfit shoes,” Funkhouser said.
Meg Duffy, the principal of Charles Sumner Elementary, says it’s important for children to have proper footwear. She told me the story of a student who visited her office because her feet were hurting.
“So she sat down at my table here and I took a look at her shoes and they literally opened apart. She didn’t have socks on, her feet were all sores. So I took her in the bathroom, washed her feet, put new socks on her and I ran to walmart to get her new sneakers,” Duffy said.
Organizers say they spent about a month fundraising for this project. In the end, they say they raised about 40,000 dollars.
With that money Parker Hill Church then bought 1,500 shoes and boots. Teachers sent order forms to the kids’ homes before distribution day. Volunteers helped the kids try on the shoes that they picked out. Brady Funkhouser says shoes are more than just a piece of clothing.
“Shoes are really important when you look into it. Building self confidence, self image. And so we were able to partner with some local shoe stores to get really great name brand shoes and boots for a really great price so that they didn’t have to wear really cheap shoes,” Funkhouser said.
The Parker Hill Church will also distribute shoes and boots to Daniel Flood Elementary School and Tunkhannock Intermediate School.