Jackson church, nonprofit provide shoes to the homeless

Published: Aug. 11, 2023 at 10:26 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Here’s a staggering statistic: over 600 million people across the world don’t own a single pair of shoes.

Now, a Jackson church and nonprofit are teaming up to put a dent in that large number.

Thanks to a special shoe drive, they were able to collect hundreds of shoes for Stewpot Community Services to help the needy in Jackson.

A special delivery arrived at Stewpot Community Services this week – hundreds and hundreds of newly and gently worn shoes for the homeless and poverty-stricken families.

“On a daily basis, I can see anywhere from 46 to 55 people, and sometimes they don’t have shoes at all, so the need for shoes is significant,” Karen Cotton, the clothing closet manager at Stewpot, said. She mentioned that seeing box after box being delivered has touched her soul in a special way.

“It felt exciting, like a prayer that had been answered,” she said.

“Once we contacted Stewpot, Ms. Karen was almost in tears. She said God heard her prayers because there was such a need for shoes in the city to help the less fortunate and homeless,” said Pastor Marlon McDuffie.

The Word Center Church in Jackson and the nonprofit Refinement teamed up to make this significant donation happen. They say having shoes to wear can help in many ways, including safety, health, and creating opportunities for employment.

“We had a shoe drive the whole month of July where we were collecting used and gently worn shoes. It was the vision of Refinement and the Word Center, and we partnered with them,” Pastor McDuffie said. “We love to do outreach as well, and Refinement, an organization big on empowerment, helped us collect the shoes. We sent the word out to the community, and we actually collected 500 pairs of shoes.”

This church is no stranger to giving back. In 2021, they helped pay off more than $1.4 million in medical debt for Mississippians. This is just another way to show God’s love beyond the four walls of the church.

“I am glad I have a big supply to provide for the community. I have a lot to offer the community now,” said Cotton.

“We are excited, and we are glad to be a blessing,” said Pastor McDuffie.

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