A popular Biblical story tells of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. Now, members of one Blair County congregation aren’t washing feet, they’re putting shoes on them.
The Angel Feet Program at Juniata United Methodist Church provides free sneakers to kids whose families can’t afford to buy them. Children from birth through sixth grade, who are eligible, can receive shoes, socks, and a book every six months.
Over the past four years, Angel Feet has given out more than 3500 pairs of sneakers, and helped more than 1700 children.
Bill Ellick, chairman of the church’s outreach program says, “We believe that God has called us to do something other than live a life. We believe that he would like us to make a difference and we believe we are making a difference by providing shoes to children.”
Ellick coordinates the program, lining up volunteers and making appointments with families for almost every Saturday morning from 10 am to noon at the church at 808 N. Fourth Street, Altoona.
Volunteers measure the kids’ feet to make sure they get the right fit. The children get to choose shoes to try on. They’re given socks, and get to pick a book before they leave.
Blair County children on Medical Assistance or CHIP are eligible for the program. Angel Feet also gets referrals from local social service agencies and schools. Parents, grandparents, and guardians can call to see if children may be eligible. To make an appointment, a donation, or to volunteer, call 814-942-6065.
Funds for Angel Feet come from donations by the congregation and the community, as well as from grants by area organizations.