Soles for Souls This Christmas!
I hope you are doing well and looking forward to having a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family. So far this year, we have highlighted all but one of our ministry partners that you are helping in Ukraine (the last one will most likely be pushed to February). However, in this prayer letter and in our December prayer letter, I would like to highlight our two outreaches of 2023: Our Christmas outreach to children and helping people to survive the winter (which will be our December prayer letter).
To update our newest ministry partners, we have engaged in an orphan and disabled children’s Christmas outreach for many years, usually serving several hundred orphans and disabled children every Christmas season. Last Christmas, these children were not in our city and we didn’t we have access to serve them due to the ongoing war with Russia. The needs were so huge we helped regular children and families have a good Christmas. We are doing the same again this year.
“Soles for Souls Campaign”
Last year we helped our ministry partners with their Christmas programs and helped them buy candy, hats, gloves, and a few coasts for the most at-risk kids. This year, the Lord has put on my heart to buy shoes for the children, many of whom, haven’t received any new shoes or boots in over two years or longer! We will be partnering with four of our Kharkiv churches with this Christmas outreach.
The churches are already collecting the shoes sizes for the kids or are preparing to buy a full range of shoes at wholesale prices. Each church is doing it a bit differently, but they know their congregation best and all the kids they are serving.
This year, we are trying to raise $11,000 for the “Soles for Souls” Christmas program, candy, and shoes/boots for as many children as possible. One of our partners may go to Poland to get shoes/boots, another partner has connections with a shoe retailer and he is already proceeding with the preparations. There is some synergy between our partners in this effort.
We earmarked several thousand dollars for this event when we passed the budget in January, but I am confident that with your help we can raise the $11,000 for the shoes, so we are going to make this happen! If you want to help us bless these children this Christmas, please donate by check or give online as soon as possible, so we can get ahead on this, since logistically, it is a bit more challenging this year.
I don’t have a good idea of how many shoes or boots we can buy with this money, but the average set of adult shoes in Ukraine is about $70-$110 retail (shoes are still expensive in Ukraine, like in America and inflation is impacting prices too). But kid’s shoes are usually less expensive than adult shoes and buying shoes wholesale should lower the price a bit too.
I am estimating about $50 per pair of shoes/boots, but at this point, it is just a ballpark – it depends on inflation, inventory, etc. After paying for the Christmas programs, candy, and some small gifts for the youngest kids, I am hoping that we can get at least 150 pair of shoes for children. I wish we could do more, but even $11,000 would be our biggest Christmas outreach ever!
By faith, we have already sent $11,000 believing that our friends like you, who have been so faithful in the past will be encouraged by this outreach too. If you have a desire to partner with us with this event, please let me know asap. The projected 150 pair of shoes will most likely be for those kid’s in and around our region, but there are thousands of kids we serve in many towns in villages too. The best a quickest way is to donate online at https://www.slavicchristian.org/donate. Matthew 25:40 says, “The King (Jesus) will reply, ‘Truly, I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers or sisters, you did to me.” Be encouraged that you have done well, dear friends! Thank you and God bless you in every way; Happy Thanksgiving!
In Jesus’ love,