On Sunday, March 25, 2012, in the gymnasium of the Kansas Ave. SDA Church, located on the corner of Kansas Ave and Martin Luther King Blvd., hundreds of new pairs of shoes and socks were given an assignment: “Cover and Protect a pair of freshly washed feet.”
At the same time, in the parking lot just outside the gym, over 320 people lined up to receive a pair of these brand new shoes and socks. Many of the people were there several hours in advance. The “Samaritan's Feet” organization, partnered with the Men Of Kansas Avenue (MOKA) for the second year in a row, to provide this welcomed service to members of the local community. Although the weather outside was drizzly and overcast, no one seemed to mind, because the atmosphere inside the building that day, was quite inviting.
The guests were greeted warmly and waited just a short while to be seated. They were then given the opportunity to have their feet washed and dried. Then a new pair of socks and a new pair of shoes were given the opportunity to accept the mission to “cover and protect” as they were placed on the feet of the grateful guests. Conversations between the volunteers and the guests were lively and heartwarming. Smiles broke out and eyes filled with tears of joy and gratitude. The volunteers prayed with the guests. Little children, teenagers, parents and grandparents alike, received shoes, socks, encouragement and prayer. As they left, each guest was offered freshly baked, chocolate-chip cookies.
Many organizations contributed to making it a wonderful day, including: Trinity Housing, which helped with the purchase of grocery gift cards, McKay's Family Mortuary who assisted with the purchase of the shoes, along with the Kansas Avenue Resource Center, and over 40 volunteers from the host church, Kansas Avenue, which included Robert Harris and his group from the Adventures Club. Members of the Mt. Rubidoux SDA church came to help out, as well as Woody Rucker-Hughes of the Riverside School District.
Many of the guests also received free medical attention and treatment at the medical van provided by “Health in Motion”, so a special “Thank You” goes out to The Kansas Ave. Resource Center and Nirma Usher. Finally, Paul Arceneaux of MOKA, along with Royal and Sandra Watson of “Samaritan's Feet” are to be congratulated. Their hard work and tireless efforts paid off. It was a wonderful experience.
A good time was had by all, and in the end, over 320 pairs of shoes and socks were given freshly washed feet to cover and protect.
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