Lehigh Valley

Church helps less fortunate get some new kicks

WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. - "This is like Christmas morning for them. The excitement. Everything," says Christina Dipierro, the director of the Daybreak program.

There's nothing quite like opening a box of new shoes and trying them on, especially if you are otherwise unable to afford them.

"To come to a real department store and pick out a brand new pair of shoes is a gift beyond belief," says Dipierro.

"We were just thrilled at the opportunity to help make the holidays a little bit easier for those in need. Really put a smile on their face," says Jessica Balsco with Boscov's.

These happy shoe shoppers at Boscov's in the Lehigh Valley Mall are all part of the Daybreak program, a group that helps struggling adults and impoverished elderly.

"It's nice of them to do this for us," says Rodriguez, a member of the Daybreak program.

The idea to buy these folks new shoes came to Helen Underwood when she looked down to pray at Daybreak last year.

"I saw shoes that were duct taped and then I started looking down the line and the shoes did not fit the people, and they were very ragged," says Underwood.

So Underwood went back to her church and organized a collection. This year, members of the First Presbyterian Church of Allentown raised $2,500 to help purchase new shoes for more than 50 people in the Daybreak program.

As the saying goes you're never fully dressed without a smile. Now these men and women have new shoes to go with their contagious smiles.

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