“Children have shoes held together with tape, too small, and flip flops for winter footwear,” said the Rev. Elizabeth Platz, Lutheran chaplain at the University of Maryland in College Park, of some students at Langley Park McCormick Elementary School.
The Lutheran Student Association (LSA) on campus was moved to act, raising money for 103 pairs of shoes with $10 gift certificates from Payless shoe stores. Their Pancake Supper on Shrove Tuesday* became a “Shoes for Kids” drive. After supper, a shoebox remained to receive additional donations.
The elementary school in Langley Park is in a neighborhood immediately adjacent to the groomed college campus. The LSA partners with the school for many activities, including homework help and recreation. Shoes got to kids at the elementary school through the Rev. Rosario Hernandez Cruz, pastor of La Sagrada Familia Luterana ( a mission congregation in the synod); and Amy Stout, the school principal.
This is one of several LSA projects which helps the college students focus their community on deepening “awareness of our God who loves us, is with us day in and day out and whose love we seek to express in our words and actions” (from LSA mission statement).
* Shrove Tuesday falls the day before Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent. Pancake Suppers harken back to the practice of using up milk, butter and eggs which were forbidden during Lent by those following a custom of abstinence.