BY MELANIE WADE –
On Wednesday, November 8th, a magical moment happened at Louise Durham Elementary, thanks to a generous company and the hearts of a few local churches. Children in grades Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades filed into their school gym with only one clue… they were going to have a party.
As excited students filled the open space, they saw stacks upon stacks of pizza boxes. “We’re having a pizza party!” said several excited students. Yes, but there’s more. “We get coke and cookies!” said others, but still yet, there’s more. The students had no idea that they would each receive a gift as well. A gift that is a true benefit to the area that holds a 76% poverty rate… they all received a brand new pair of shoes.
To some, that may not seem like such a big deal, but to others, it is huge. There were near 450 pairs of shoes distributed to the students. All the shoes were the same other than the colors, which were black or brown. The shoes were donated by a shoe distributor that wishes to remain anonymous.
Nathan Sherer, a Lead Pastor at Union Mission Pentecostal Church of God in Mena, helped bring the program to Mena through Convoy of Hope, a faith-based, humanitarian organization. “It was a pleasure and an honor to be a part of something so awesome,” said Sherer.
In all, four local churches came together when the shoes were delivered and held a “wrapping party” so that all shoes were wrapped. One volunteer said it only took the group 45 minutes to get them all wrapped because there were so many that were eager to help.
Louise Durham Principal Jima Holder said, “We are just so excited to have been chosen for the grant. We want to thank all the community members who helped bring it together.”