From booties to boots: Shoes of all kinds needed

January 1, 2015 by

web-200-Shoe-LogoSister Beth Weddle’s newest project to benefit the Tree of Life Relief Ministry is off and running.

She hopes to gather 1,650 pairs of donated shoes to deliver to Mission, S.D., on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. (A list of dropoff locations is below.)

“St. Joseph’s Shoes” honors the patron saint of the congregation, while the goal comes from the year the Sisters of St. Joseph was founded — 1650, in Le Puy, France.

In 2014, Sister Beth made two trips to Mission, each time in a cargo van packed with donated clothing and shoes.

One thing she learned was that footwear for all ages is particularly needed, because shoes are expensive and wear out quickly. So she decided she needed to concentrate on gathering shoes — and her enthusiasm for the project has ignited others.

Denise Schmitz, a candidate for membership in the Sisters of St. Joseph, will be collecting shoes in Norton, Kan., while Sister Pauline Kukula will set up a donation box at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Salina, where she is a religion teacher. The Salina Running Co. is taking part, as is First Christian Church in Concordia and its pastor, Jeff Nielson. Drop-off locations are listed in the box, above.

Donations of shoes for all ages are welcome, and they should be clean and have a little life left in them. Flip-flops cannot be accepted.

The Tree of Life Relief Agency has been working with people of the Sioux Nation on the reservation since 1985. Although it is sponsored by the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church, it is multi-denominational and cross-cultural. Through its Volunteers-in-Mission program, workers from more than a dozen denominations from across the United States spend time there every year.

For more on the agency and its work, go to


Drop-off locations

  • CONCORDIA: Nazareth Motherhouse
  • CONCORDIA: First Christian Church, 614 Cedar St.
  • SALINA: Sacred Heart Junior-Senior High School, 234 E. Cloud St.
  • SALINA: Salina Running Co. 122 S. Santa Fe Ave.
  • NORTON, KAN: Call Denise Schmitz at 785/871-0464 for the location
  • WASHINGTON, KAN.: St. Augustine Catholic Church
  • GRAND JUNCTION, COLO.: Holy Family Catholic School, 786 26½ Road







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