Church members go barefoot, donate shoes to charity - FOX 35 News Orlando

Church members go barefoot, donate shoes to charity

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TEMPE, Ariz. -

In the spirit of the season, members of one valley church took that extra step Sunday to make sure those less fortunate don't go without.

Pastor Troy Schmidt delivered a powerful message during Sunday's 9:30 a.m. service.

He was wearing only bright red socks, his shoes were among a pile of others being donated.

"Honestly, you walk around on cold concrete barefoot, you realize you don't have shoes on, it's a good reminder," said Schmidt, pastor of Gethsemane Lutheran Church.

This year for Christmas, members of Gethsemane Lutheran Church were asked not only to give, but to take a moment to take their shoes off and walk a few steps as the less fortunate often do: barefoot.

"The floor is cold, the air was cold, but you know what, you feel that was only an hour versus everyone else that is out there day after day, night after night. They're living without shoes or socks," said Diana Dolvick, who donated shoes.

"It's chilly, but hey, people out there are chilly too and they have to deal with it every day," said Shivane Debisaran, who donated shoes.

From tennis shoes to sandals to boots, hundreds of pairs of shoes were donated. Those, along with all the coats and blankets that were also donated, will be taken to the Salvation Army.

"It felt pretty good because now I know somebody will get a good gift for Christmas," said Slater Smith, who donated shoes.

Being selfless, walking around without shoes so someone else can have a pair, is what the holiday spirit is all about for this group.

It's a message they hope will continue all year long.

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