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Blessing Souls and Soles

Ministries Collaborate for Shoe Drive for Children


An idea that came about organically led to the collaboration of several Prestonwood ministries and a back-to-school blessing for children in the South Dallas community of Bonton.

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Children receive shoes

The vision was born in the heart of Matt Mullins, Minister to Open Division, who reached out to Minister to Married Adults Jonathan Teague. They contacted BridgeBuilders and Prestonwood Missions to help coordinate, and they presented the idea to members of their Bible Fellowship groups. Their goal was to collect more than 150 pairs of new shoes for children in Bonton ministered to by BridgeBuilders.

“When I heard about this initiative and the grassroots idea to bless one of our key ministry partners in such a needed way, I was thrilled!” said Minister of Spiritual Development Jeff Young. “The move toward action and the generosity that the people of Prestonwood demonstrate always fires me up. This idea is even greater because it provides shoes and a prayer covering over these children.”

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Nearly 200 shoes collected

At last count, 183 kids from Bonton received new school shoes during an already scheduled Back-to-School Bash last Saturday.

“When BridgeBuilders was presented with the idea, they quickly provided the information we needed to make sure that the children who attended the Back-to-School Bash in Bonton would receive a new pair of shoes in their size,” said Matt, who added that Prestonwood Missions and Adult Team Ministry members Hayden Seeley and LaTrelle Smart helped make the shoe donation possible.

And, of course, the many Bible Fellowship members who wanted to help make a difference for these kids.

“Our Adult 4 and Open Division folks are the heroes of this story,” Jonathan said. “It was tremendous, with immediate buy-in. People continued to ask how they could do more. The people of Prestonwood are amazing!”

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Care packages packed with new shoes, toiletries and more

Jonathan said the project is a great reminder of the “potential for our people to give above and beyond.”

Lynn Pokorny, longtime Prestonwood member and faithful BridgeBuilders volunteer, said another idea came to fruition from Bible Fellowship groups.

“Someone suggested putting together care packages for the kids—shampoo, lotion, that kind of thing,” she said. “I mentioned it to four different classes and a couple of friends and they brought just wonderful donations.

“It was amazing what people brought. It was unbelievable.”

Jonathan Fechner, Executive Director of BridgeBuilders and the son of the late Mike Fechner, who co-founded BridgeBuilders, was excited about the collaboration.

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Haircuts for the boys

“It’s always so encouraging to see the body of Christ active and engaged in love and charity to those in South Dallas,” he said. “To see people give generously to our kids in Bonton is a blessing and truly reflects the caring heart of our church.”

Prestonwood members also volunteered at the Back-to-School Bash, he said.

“Each of our kids got a backpack with school supplies, their new shoes, a haircut for the boys and the girls had their nails done,” Jonathan said. “The event is really great for the kids and families we serve. It gives us an opportunity to serve them and have conversations with them throughout the year.

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Manicures for the girls

“I even had a few [children] mention that they were excited to go back to school to show off their shoes. That was an added blessing.”



Published: Aug. 14, 2019
Author: Michael Young