The Lower Elwha is starting the school year with healthy snacks and on the RIGHT FOOT thanks to the Hope House!
Enjoy this update from Tom (Ioway) and Cathy (Cherokee) Benzler, LIM Staff.
For most of us, the back to school season involves trips to the local stores to pick up new pencils, folders, and notebook. Perhaps there's a special back to school outfit and, of course, a new pair of shoes. But for the kids who live on the Lower Elwha Reservation and surrounding communities, access to new shoes (and money to purchase them) is limited.
In August, the Lower Elwha Tribe, located on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, had a Back to School Health Fair. We were thrilled to be back again for your third year of helping the children of the community get ready for a new school year.
Two years ago, we collected school supplies. Last year, we collected backpacks. Both are now provided by the Tribe! We pray that this amazing progression continues and someone else will step up to provide shoes and socks next year, allowing God to open another door and reveal a need that LIM could help fill.
This year, we had a table in which each child received a bag of healthy snacks, 3 pairs of new socks and gently used shoes. While not every child found shoes in their sizes, the kids that really needed shoes, always seemed to find a pair that fit their feet! Over 150 children received snack bags and 450 new socks were given away.
This year's sock campaign was a big success - and still going! We collected 826 pairs to date, and they are still coming in. (If you meant to send them and forgot, keep them coming! Address is below.)
In the upcoming month, we have scheduled shoe and sock events on two other reservations on the Olympic Peninsula.
On Lower Elwha, both children and parents were very grateful to receive these gifts.
One little boy really needed shoes badly. He tried on pair after pair, too big, too small, until he finally found a pair that fit. "Can I really keep these?" he asked. When I told them they were his, he was so happy that he left his old pair of shoes, with holes in the toes, at the table and strutted away with his new pair on. Likewise, the children were happy to get a pair of socks, but their faces really lit up when we told them they could pick out three pairs!
We thank the Lord for His many blessings, and we thank everyone that gave shoes and socks. Seeing the happiness on the faces of so many children makes all the hard work worth it, and the relationships we build and nourish allow us to share more of Christ's love!
Next year's goal: get the Lutheran Comfort Dogs out here!
Thanks be to God!
Send your socks to:
HOPE HOUSE SOCKS
c/o Cathy Benzler
P.O. Box 2955
Port Angeles, WA 98362