Help Others Step Closer to Jesus!

10th Annual St. Matthew Turkey Trot!
Early in my ministry, I was standing in the hallway greeting students good morning when I received a response that shook me to my core... "Mrs. Palka, I'm not supposed to tell you, but we had to sleep in our car last night, and I was so scared!"
An immediate investigation revealed the embarrassment of an eviction due to a series of unfortunate financial circumstances. Instantly, I watched the Body of Christ work together to help this family get back into a suitable living environment and ensure that basic needs were met.  Scripture states in Matthew 25:40, "Whatever you do for the least of these, you do onto Me." It was so exciting watching congregational members become hands and feet of Jesus in action during this situation. Sometimes, God uses us to help those in other states or countries, and, sometimes, He presents us with opportunities to help people in our very own community.
Pre-pandemic, the heartbeat of St. Matthew Lutheran Church and School was always our outreach efforts and giving our young disciples the opportunity to put their faith into action. One of  the most disappointing factors of this school year is not being able to send our students out in the community to work at Gleaners, Forgotten Harvest, Camp Restore, or many of our favorite community service opportunities. However, our traditional "Turkey Trot" is one opportunity that we still can safely do outside and allow students of all ages to show the love of Christ to others in the process.
On November 13th, our Student Council will host our 10th annual Turkey Trot, entitled, "Help Others Step Closer to Jesus". The Turkey Trot is designed to be a student-led outreach event intended to help those who are in need.  This year, the funds raised will support Soles4Souls, a nonprofit company that distributes shoes to needy people.  For every dollar raised, Soles4Souls can buy one pair of shoes for someone in need, and, with the current worldwide pandemic, this need is tremendous.
Soles4Souls also takes donations of slightly used shoes.  To do this safely, we will collect these shoes outside the 200 wing at the gym doors. Each time that someone donates a pair of slightly used shoes, he/she is asked to fill out a form at the donation site. Our Student Council members will keep a tally of shoes collected by writing the name of the donor on a paper foot for every pair donated. The Student Council will then make a path of feet around the school; it will be very exciting to see how far those feet will travel! We are asking that all shoes please be tied together by their laces, or rubber band together, and turned in by November 30th so that we can get them to the Novi DSW distribution center in time for Christmas.
Knowing "There is No Impossible with God", it's now time to get to work! To begin this process, students are asked to utilize the pledge sheets that are sent home today to collect pledges. Additional pledge sheets are available in the school office. As a special bonus, anyone raising over $50 will receive a free T-shirt with this year's Turkey Trot logo that will be delivered afterwards.  We are asking that students please bring their completed pledge sheets to school on Friday, November 13th.
BUT WAIT... THERE IS MORE! A fun Turkey Trot Tradition is that our Student Council will add an additional exciting  element to this endeavor. Students who run the most laps or collect the most money will have the opportunity to do something exciting to the Student Council member of his/her choice! Stay tuned for details as Student Council elections occur next Monday!
We look forward to watching God bless this effort as we work together to help others step closer to Jesus!
In His Love,
Mrs. Palka

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