The Mission Amarillo shoe closet was started as a result of requests we were getting from apartment residents where we conducted bible studies. Every August, we would have parents ask us where they could get shoes for their kids. Once we had it up and running, our expectation was to give away 300-400 pairs of shoes a year. Since the shoe closet's inception in 2010, we have given away over 900 pairs of shoes every year but one, usually going over 1,000. (This year we're already at 1,120!) As of this writing, we have given away 13,110 pairs of shoes to kids in Amarillo, Canyon, Bushland, River Road, and Highland Park ISDs. This also includes several area agencies such as CASA, Family Support Services, Downtown Women's Center, Texas Department of Family Services, and people who participate in our mentoring programs.
While the numbers were definitely surprising, the response of those receive the shoes were overwhelming!
I remember the first testimonial I received from a counselor in an AISD school. She had requested a pair of women's 9s for a young girl there.
This counselor wrote, "Thank you for the shoes for this young girl. She started smiling the moment she put them on and was still smiling when I saw her 2 hours later!"
For the last 11 years, that has been the story of the shoe closet. Not just an item given to a random individual in need, but something that reminds a helpless child, not responsible in any way for the situation they're in, that God hasn't forgotten them. The beauty of the way it impacts a child's day is that all of our shoes are provided by those in our community. Shoes have been collected from Amarillo, Canyon, Bushland, Miami, Claude, and even as far away as Huntsville, TX.
To see the impact the shoe closet has, click here and scroll down to the testimonials in the middle of the page. When you see these, I think you'll get a sense of fulfilling Matthew 25, "whatever you do for the least of these, my brothers, you've done to me." Thank you for helping us show kids in our area that God hasn't forgotten them and we look forward to continue to partnering with our community to continue to fulfill our mission of "loving our neighbor, equipping for life"!