W.Va. church raising money to buy shoes for students



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MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — CenterPointe Church members are already fundraising to buy shoes and socks for local schoolchildren in the fall- an expensive project whose value can't be measured in mere dollars and cents, said the Rev. Nick Scott.

Recalling a student who was wearing snow boots three sizes too small, Scott said his heart sank when the boy opened his box to find girl's shoes — complete with pink trim — because there had been a mix-up regarding his name.

"You might think a kid would complain or worry about what the other kids would say, but not this young man. He was just so grateful to get the shoes, because they were so much more comfortable. Needless to say, I went immediately to get him another pair — black ones — so he could really enjoy his new shoes," Scott said.

Now going into its second year, Scott said this effort will continue at Burke Street and Winchester Avenue schools, but church members also hope to add another school in 2015.

"But the real win would be if we are eventually able to do this in all Berkeley County schools, so we're working toward that goal," he said.

Approximately 300 students each received a new pair of socks and shoes at a total price tag of $10,000 to $12,000 that was donated by church members, Scott said, adding that school officials had been nearly as excited as the students.

"When you get out into the community, it is pretty eye-opening to see the need and how many people are living due to a variety of reasons. That also applies to many children, so we want to do what we can to help," he said.

Although church members continue to be vital to this project, other fundraising efforts included the church's annual Evening of Dinner & Music scheduled for Saturday at the White House Event Center in Winchester, Virginia.

"Part of the goal of this annual event is to bring awareness to the area, while helping raise funds to help meet the ever-increasing needs of underprivileged children in our community. It also shares the vision for plans to help even more people in the future over a spaghetti dinner, live music and silent auction," Scott said.

"In 2014, we were able to put a new pair of socks and shoes on the feet of 300 children in Berkeley County, West Virginia. We believe, through God's grace and continued local generosity, we can double that number in 2015," Scott said.

Additional donations will be accepted by mail at CenterPointe Church, P.O. Box 716, Inwood, 25428.

"Donations really are important, because it costs about $40 for each child to receive a new pair of shoes and socks," he said.

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Information from: The Journal, http://journal-news.net/

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Jenni Vincent

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