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Church giving away free sneakers through Samaritan's Feet Saturday

August 24, 2011|By BILL KOHLER | billk@herald-mail.com

FIVE FORKS, Pa. — A Franklin County church is putting its best foot (or feet, in this case) forward for the Waynesboro, Pa., community this weekend.

Five Forks Brethren in Christ Church is hosting a free sneaker giveaway through Samaritan’s Feet on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Samaritan’s Feet, an international organization started more than six years ago by a formerly impoverished Nigerian man, will provide sneakers to the first 500 or so community members who show up at the church at 9244 Five Forks Road.

Doug Shatzer of Greencastle, Pa., who serves as Pennsylvania’s regional coordinator for Samaritan’s Feet, said the organization has held similar events in Greencastle and Williams-port, Md., but this is the first in the Waynesboro area.

The event includes not only a free pair of sneakers for adults and children, but church members will be available to wash the feet of those who turn out for the sneakers.

He said Five Forks church is making an outstanding gesture.

“The church is going all out to make this a good thing for the community,” Shatzer said.

“The shoes are a tool to get the message of Jesus out there. We call these events, ‘Shoes of Hope outreach,’” he said.

People don’t have to show a paystub or anything.

“They just need to show up,” he said.

Shaun Kipe, youth pastor at Five Forks church, said about 80 church members are involved in the event, which has created some excitement in his congregation.

“The people at Five Forks are so generous when they see a need to serve others,” Kipe said in a telephone interview.

“As soon as we started talking about it with the congregation, we immediately started receiving responses,” Kipe said.

Kipe said the feet washing shouldn’t be awkward for those who attend the event. He said Five Forks members wash each other’s feet during an event each year.

“It’s more of a symbolic gesture than a cleaning,” he said.

“Just as Jesus washed his disciples’ feet to show that he cared for them, we want to show we care about you,” Kipe said.

Shatzer said monetary donations are always welcome at Samaritan’s Feet events.

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