Tonawanda News — Less than a year into its existence, Generation Church in North Tonawanda has made a commitment to making a difference — one foot at a time.
The church will host a shoe-cutting party at 7 p.m. Wednesday at its site at 1001 E. Robinson St., North Tonawanda. The event is held in conjunction with the organization Sole Hope, which focuses on providing footwear for children in African countries, including Uganda.
Participants will use recycled items including blue jeans and plastic to cut patterns for the shoes, which are sent to the charity and on to its facility in Uganda, which employs widows and pays them a fair wage to make the shoes, said Chad Rieselman, pastor of the church.
“Generation is a brand-new church. We just opened our doors in September,” he said. “We are a diverse community of people of all ages that seeks to question the status quo and see what we can do about spreading the good news of the Gospel. One of the ways that we do that is by saying, ‘How can we partner with organizations that are making a huge impact, locally or globally?’
“We believe the church is designed to do something, not just be something. Being a new church, we went to set a precedent that we’re here to make a difference in our community, our state and globally.”
The Sole Hope event was suggested by Meredith and Noelle McLaughlin, sisters-in-law involved with the church, after Noelle, who was looking for Christmas gifts that were a little more meaningful, looked for a present with a little more meaning when she came across the organization.
Then they brought the idea to Rieselman.
“One thing lead to another and we said, ‘What can we do as a church to help people in Uganda?’ “ Meredith McLaughlin said. “We found they have a big need for these children who suffer from getting jiggers in their feet and that there’s a very simple way to help. We said ‘Why not?’ ... It’s not very hard, but it’s something we can do.