“Samaritan’s Feet” joins Bella Vista church to help McDonald County students

Each student who registered not only got a new pair of shoes, they also received a bag filled with socks, a hygiene kit, and a "hope note."

BELLA VISTA, Ark.–McDonald County school district families traveled across the Missouri-Arkansas border Saturday, for some help from their neighbors in the next state over. 

“One of our teachers from one of our schools…had been in contact with some people from Samaritan’s Feet, and they got to talking about some of the opportunities about giving shoes to the district,” said Ken Schutten, Media Communications Coordinator for the McDonald County School District. “And so as they got to looking at the need in McDonald County, they were just going to do a couple of different school buildings. But as they got to looking at the need for the district, they decided to go ahead and open it up to all of our students across the whole district, all the way from early childhood to seniors in high school. “

Samaritan’s Feet, an organization with the goal to ensure no child goes without shoes, teamed up with the Village Bible Church in Bella Vista to help out Mcdonald County students.

“We’ve distributed over 8 million pairs of shoes across the world and the united states. our core focus is to work with school systems just like McDonald county schools…Bella Vista Village Bible Church came alongside us and they’re a partner in this and their generosity, time, resources to put this on and to host the event. They made all this possible, so they gave us some donations. We were able to secure the shoes and McDonald County School System help us to identify all the kids that needed shoes and get their sizes. So we could have a great distribution event,” said Kyle Alexander, Regional Director for Samaritan’s Feet.

On Saturday, about 174 pairs of shoes were distributed to those families in need. The distribution was held one state over, but only about 13 miles.

“The need was found at Mcdonald County, and there are a lot of students there who are in need of shoes. So we said, you know what? They are very close to us, just a few miles away. Sure, we’d love to serve there, and so even though it’s we’re not in Mcdonald county, we just saw the need there,” said the church’s pastor, Al Frank. 

So the Village Bible Church and Samaritan’s Feet got to work.

“We ordered 350 pairs of shoes. we’re going to today serve about 175 students who need shoes. and then we’re going to start a shoe locker in McDonald county for students and teachers, teachers and administrators,” Frank said. 

For McDonald county students, the act showed them that kindness knows no bounds, even across state lines.

“This is a community in Arkansas that’s reaching across state lines to help a community in Missouri. and so when you look at this and when you look at caring and compassion, you can see that really there is no state line that we’re all one community and we’re all helping out each other. And so I think that this is just a fantastic example of that,” said Schutten. 

This was the first time Samaritan’s feet has reached out across state lines to help out–and they say it’s a blessing.

“It’s just a really neat experience to be able to give a kid a brand new pair of shoes in the size that they need”, said Alexander.

Each student who registered not only got a new pair of shoes, they also received a bag filled with socks, a hygiene kit, and a “hope note.”