How Can Shoes Show God’s Love?
How can shoes show God’s love? My name is Ray, and I am with the Orange County Department of Education Access Program. ACCESS is proud to collaborate with various local and national organizations and businesses to equip our students as they build a pathway to college and career readiness. Through established partnerships, our staff, students, and parents are able to utilize resources to promote student academic and personal success. I am the coordinator for our sports program for at-risk youth. So we have a lot of kids that come from situations of neglect, abuse, and broken homes. Our population is really just students who need a second chance. So many of these kids in our sports program, don’t have the basics like shoes and shorts. The Compassion Team at Eastside heard about where I work and the at-risk students I serve and wanted to find out how they could partner with ACCESS. Recently, an opportunity came up when an Olympic athlete wanted to donate $1,000 for a New Balance voucher for these students to get needed sports equipment so Eastside offered to match the $1,000 donation. We got every single kid a new pair of New Balance tennis shoes plus new shorts, t-shirts, socks, and a backpack. We were able to fully equip these kids with what they needed for the season. It was fun to set up the shoeboxes and all of the gear for these kids and then bring them outside of the classroom and surprise them. How amazing that now they’ll have the gear they need for this basketball season.
I can’t teach God on the job. I can’t tell them exactly who God is, but we can show them through our actions who He is to this generation and the youth that we’re dealing with. I have been able to witness what these acts of kindness have done for these students, just how appreciative they are, how appreciative they have been with the fact that someone is donating to them, someone is giving to them. And the effects that I’ve seen are just the joy and excitement on their faces, the joy that someone out there saying that I care. That is why Eastside makes it a priority to partner with organizations like ACCESS because they work directly with at-risk populations then we are able to fill in the gaps where the need is the greatest so that our dollars go farther.
Eastside is a community of believers with relentless love and commitment to using their lives to shed light in the darkest of places. We yearn for all to know God. We present the gospel and love people in the most creative and innovative ways. Our goal is to develop the gifts within people and support them through the journey of discovering how God is calling them to use those gifts in the service of others. Eastside Local Compassion is committed to serving the community and helping Eastsiders find their passion to serve. We aim to empower kids to thrive and bring hope to families by listening and learning from existing pillar organizations in the community, developing partnerships, identifying gaps in services, and intentionally mobilizing people and resources. Our compassion team’s vision is to be a leader in finding solutions, building bridges, and bringing the love and hope of Jesus to hurting communities. We strive to inspire people to collectively influence transformational life change. If you would like to find out more about how you can volunteer in your community go to: eastside.com/local
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