The Lisa Patrick
COVID has stopped a lot of things this past year, but the one thing that it didn’t stop was the need for help. In some cases, like the school in Uganda, Africa, that was set up by Amy Compston, better known as “Amy for Africa,” COVID stopped the ability to help meet those needs, with all airline travel outside the United States almost at a standstill. One local youth group is working hard to help meet some of those needs by collecting used shoes here at home to take to overseas.
New Life Fellowship Church in Russell, KY is a small church that certainly has big dreams. The youth group and some of the adult members of the church will be leaving July 9 to go to Uganda for two weeks, trekking into the villages. According to the pastor, Jason Plummer, “We’ll bring kids and moms and dads out for a bible school.” When the local people come to the bible school, the church group will pass out the shoes. They are also going to feed them a meal, have crafts, and give out some candy.
Jason and his wife, Autumn, say that they are “trying to raise about $100,000 because that will take care of all of our group to go and help us with the bible school and all of the things that we need. The shoes just kind of came about from an idea that someone had so we decided that we’re going to try to take shoes for all of them,” said the Plummers. Some of the villages that the group will be going to visit are poorer than other villages and it is the goal of the youth group to be able to take shoes to assist as many people as they can.
Chuck Williams, the owner of Classy Limo, has two sons that are going on the mission trip to Uganda. His wife, Kim, posted on Facebook that Nick, Nathaniel, and other members of the youth group were collecting shoes for the people in Uganda and they spent hours over the next few days picking up shoes from different friends and family members including a large donation of shoes given by coordinating with Renee Parsons at the Neighborhood. They are still hoping for more used shoes, though, as the need there is great.
The youth group is “basically going to hand carry these shoes” to Uganda. They are going to load them up and pay for all the extra bags as part of their luggage fees. That is part of what they are raising the money for.
The Plummers say they are raising the money “by faith.” They have passed out mini M&M tubes for people to fill with quarters. The youth have passed the tubes out to their friends and family. Each tube will hold $14 in quarters and this method has already brought them in about $4500. Autumn Plummer remarked, “we are literally raising this money one quarter at a time.”
Each member of the youth group has been tasked with coming up with a fundraising idea. In addition to the quarters, the church has also held an online dessert auction which was met with a donation of $4000 to their Venmo account from a couple in Arkansas that no one at the church has ever met but that they are all extremely grateful for. Some of the things that they have in the works are a spaghetti dinner for Valentine’s Day on February 13, a car wash/detailing service, and an Easter Egg Hunt service where they will come to individual homes and hide Easter eggs around the yard for children to hunt when they wake up on Easter morning. The Valentine’s dinner will be either eat in or carry out. For those that choose to eat dinner at the church, they will be served by a member of the youth group.
All information can be found on the church’s Facebook page - New Life Fellowship Baptist Church. The church is located at 418 Beech Street in Russell, and their Venmo account is listed on their Facebook page. They have raised approximately $13,000 so far so they have a long way to go, but the Plummers say that they have faith that they will meet their goal and that they are definitely going regardless of what they have to scrape together to get there.