Power of the Shoe


Representing Buckner International and Shoes for Orphan Souls, Joey Armstrong provided a voice for those whose lives can be changed through a pair of new shoes. Joey grew up in NE Oklahoma, attended OBU and Baylor University where he developed an intense desire to be the change that produces change in our communities. Working with Buckner International, sponsored by First Baptist Church of Norman, Joey and his wife have the opportunity to unify faith based groups meeting the needs of the homeless and those in need in our community. They have been instrumental in promoting and reaching out to existing organizations that many of us at Sooner Rotary already support personally and as a club.


Joey desires to help people connect socially and civically with various programs such as food pantries, clothes closets and Sunday lunches for the homeless. Challenged by the definition of poverty, “having the perspective and feeling that you have nothing of value to offer,” Joey believes that being a source of hope can not only change the life of those in need, but brings change to the giver’s life as well. When someone is able to have a pair of shoes that have been sitting in the closet and says to their friend, “these are the coolest shoes I’ve ever had” both lives are enriched.


In an effort to mobilize and unite the community in a unique outreach “TO NORMAN WITH LOVE” was organized. Throughout the year, faith based organizations have the opportunity to serve alongside community groups and organizations. This Thursday, “TO NORMAN WITH LOVE”              will sponsor a food drive to replenish the Mission Norman food pantry. Those interested in participating were encouraged to meet at Journey Church’s East Campus at 6pm.   


Shoes for Orphan Souls is an international relief effort to provide shoes and socks for orphans around the globe. What began in 1999 now reaches out to orphans in 73 countries and has distributed over 2.2 million shoes. Many may be familiar with the Tom’s Shoes program that provides a pair of Tom’s shoes to those in need for every pair purchased. The two programs are now working together to reach even more than before.


Other Rotary Clubs have taken the challenge to heart and sponsored shoe drives and participated in delivering the life changing message that each person is valuable. Sooner Rotary was given the challenge to consider supporting a drive in the Norman area.


Those who are interested in learning more about the various projects here in Norman or with Shoes for Orphan Souls are encouraged to get in touch with Joey at First Baptist Church Norman.


Other Announcements for Sooner Rotary were made:

Habitat for Humanity is sponsoring a Bowling for Humanity on October 26th at Sooner Bowling Center and has invited Cleveland County Rotary Clubs to the event. The Bowl-A-Thon will begin at 12 noon and the $20 entry fee will include 2 games, shoes and 1 large soft drink. Proceeds from the event will go to Habitat for Humanity as they continue to provide homes to needy families. Questions, call (405) 360-7868.


Fellowship Activities: Lunch Buddies at Louie’s Westside today at 11:30; Italiano’s in OKC on Thur at 11:30; Fall Hayride November 12 at 6pm; Sooner Theatre and Dinner December 3. Check the website for more details. Attendance counts as make-ups for meeting attendance.


Community Service: Service project at Food and Shelter for Friends October 29 from 8:30 am (provide emergency food and organize the food pantry. Our next Trash Pickup is scheduled for November 12 at 8 am. Meet at Robinson St and 12th Ave NE.