AUTHOR: Jan Bartoo Becker
PHONE: 814 883-9228
AGENCY: St. Paul’s Shoe Bank
Challenging times, but a chance to be creative in looking at new opportunities. The St. Paul’s Shoe Bank closed down last year in mid-March 2020, as most social service agencies had to do. We were able to reopen in mid-June with many safety protocols in place and we have remained open in some form since then. We are so happy that we have been able to continue to provide shoes to people in need.
The St. Paul’s Shoe Bank is located in Room 203 of the Wesley Foundation of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, with the entrance through the red doors on Locust Lane. We are open almost every Saturday morning from 9am-12pm with any closings or changes posted on our Facebook page, St. Paul’s Shoe Bank.
The Shoe Bank has been in operation for 30 years, giving sneakers to children up to the age of 18 years old with a medical assistance card or a referral from a local social service agency. If there is a need we strive to fill it. Presently we are giving new sneakers, bought by donations and donated by a local shoe store. During the winter months we have a supply of used and new snow boots, available on a first come, first serve basis. Each client is also given a new pair of socks, donated by a local church and a local service organization. Unfortunately, we have been unable to give out books due to the pandemic restraints, but we hope this will change soon, as we want to encourage the joy of reading.
We have been given the opportunity to help some Out of the Cold clients, as well as some immigrant families during this past year with shoes and boots. We plan to continue this service as it is needed.
While the primary goal of the St. Paul’s Shoe Bank is focused on children, we have three large wire shelves outside of the Shoe Bank that are filled with gently used (and some new) shoes that may be taken by anyone who needs them. These can include anything from sandals to sneakers, dress shoes to work boots, depending on donations.
Volunteers are the backbone of this mission and they work year-round to buy shoes, check and change inventory, help keep records, help on Saturdays to fit and make sure each child receives a pair of well-fitting shoes. Funds to support this mission come primarily from St. Paul’s
United Methodist Church, monetary donations to the Shoe Bank, and more recently from community donations through CentreGives.org, which is May 11th and 12th this year!
Anyone who would like additional information should contact Jan Becker, St. Paul’s Shoe Bank Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church office at 814-237-2163 and leave a message.