New Shoes for Daybreak Members Thanks to FPCA
Daybreak members purchased new shoes at Boscov’s, thanks to the generosity of First Presbyterian Church of Allentown. Volunteer and church member Helen Underwood proposed the idea of replacing the members’ worn-out shoes, and the congregation raised nearly $3700 in support. What an amazing act of kindness! Thanks to all who contributed.
On Tuesday, November 29, members of Daybreak headed to Boscov’s to pick out shoes or sneakers compliments of First Presbyterian Church of Allentown congregants who filled the loose plate offering. The management at Boscov’s was most gracious, having extra staff on board to outfit our friends at Daybreak. What a blessing! Read on for more about how this special gift came to fruition.
From Ecumenical Encounters, Fall 2016 (download full issue)
Taking a Moment to Walk in Their Shoes
Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is the definition of empathy. Every day, the staff members of the Lehigh Conference of Churches—and the volunteers who serve alongside them—reach out to those looking to find stability in uncertain times. When division and discord are so apparent in our society, it’s comforting to know that a spirit of love and compassion burns brightly throughout all of the Conference’s social service programs and its ecumenical and interfaith initiatives.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard
others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not
to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3–4
The staff at our Daybreak Drop-In Center recently reported a shining example of the empathy that drives our organization and its dedicated volunteers, including Helen Underwood, a member of First Presbyterian Church of Allentown. During a recent visit to Daybreak, as prayer was about to be said before dinner, Helen turned her gaze downward. Her eyes noticed the poor condition of many of the members’ shoes. They were torn, ripped, stretched out, and even duct taped together—not the kind of sturdy footwear needed for trekking down city sidewalks or getting on and off the bus.
She brought the need to her church’s attention, and First Pres organized a collection to fund the purchase of new shoes, which raised almost $3700! Helen’s jubilant email to Daybreak’s program supervisor, Christina DiPierro, best expresses the true joy of giving: “YAHOO!!!!! Oh Christina, we can buy shoes, boots, slippers for everyone! God is good.” Plans are in place to take at least 75 Daybreak members to Boscov’s, where they will be able to spend $50 each on footwear of their choice. We’re overwhelmed by this act of generosity and compassion and thank Helen and all who contributed. God is so good!
With the Christmas season upon us, the whirlwind of social and school events, the lengthy shopping and to-do lists, and the piles of cards and catalogs can leave us feeling frazzled. Taking a moment to focus on gratitude for the things we take for granted—a comfortable bed, a nourishing lunch, the warm boots protecting our feet—brings us back to a place where giving comes from love.
We want to thank all of you who have supported the Lehigh Conference of Churches over the past year and have shown empathy for the needs of your brothers and sisters in Christ. Your willingness to walk in their shoes, realize a need, and act upon it through service, monetary gifts, and in-kind donations allows us to lift people out of crisis and give them hope.
—Katie Kackenmeister, Community Relations Coordinator