School performance benefits Soles4Souls

Published 9:23 pm Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Terra Ceia Christian School students have combined this year’s Christmas show with a shoe drive. The cost of admission to tonight’s performance is a pair of new or gently used shoes. This year’s performers are (standing, left to right) Kaytlin Joyner, Madison Boyd, Laurel Meijer, Alexis Joyner, Lynn Van Staalduinen, Brian Respess, Zachary Klaassen, (kneeling left to right) Jayna Van Staalduinen, Andrew Wheeler, Jacob Dorn and Gunner Couch. (WDN Photo/Mona Moore)

It won’t cost you an arm and a leg to attend Terra Ceia Christian School’s Christmas play tonight, but it will cost you a pair of shoes.
Students have teamed up with the nonprofit Soles4Souls to collect new and gently used shoes to be distributed to people in third-world countries.
The idea came from music instructor Irene VanderWeit. She said it would be an awesome opportunity to teach missions to the children involved.
Principal Jon Postma said the idea is a perfect fit for the Christmas program.
“Even more than singing, more than acting, it gets kids thinking more about how they can be the hands and feet of Christ,” Postma said. “And that Christmas is more than just presents for them. It’s about giving to others.”
The cast has already donated shoes to the cause. Fifth-grader Zachary Klaassen stuck a note into his donated pair.
“I said, ‘God bless you,’” Klaassen said.
VanderWeit tied the performance to the cause with the musical she chose for the performance. The children’s production is called “The Christmas Shoe Tree” and is rich in original music.
“I am so excited about this,” she said.
Alexis Joyner, 10, said there are two reasons people should attend tonight’s performance.
“First, because it’s for a really good cause and because Miss Irene has worked really hard to put this together.”
Eleven-year-old Madison Boyd had one more reason.
“We’ve worked really hard for the past two months,” she said.
The students said memorizing dialog was the toughest part. They also had to learn seven songs.
“We like all of the songs,” said Lynn Van Staalduinen, 11.
Almost on cue, the cast broke into song, little ditties like “Bluegrass Christmas” and “Can’t Stop These Shoes.”
Soles4Souls has distributed more than 19 million pairs of shoes around the world with the help of partners, according to a press release from the organization. The organization’s local and domestic partners will distribute the shoes.
With one in every four adults in the world living in extreme poverty, basic necessities like shoes are simply unavailable. In developing nations like Haiti, Honduras and Tanzania, walking is the main form of transportation, and shoes can protect a person’s feet from cuts and infections.
“It is never too early in the year, or in life, to start giving back,” said Kevin Goughary, CEO of Soles4Souls.  “I can’t think of a better way to decorate your Christmas tree than with shoes that will ultimately go to someone in need. We are so pleased to be integrated into this amazing Christmas program and that kids are already choosing to take that program outside of the walls of their churches and schools.”

Terra Ceia Christian School is located at 4428 Christian School Road near Pantego. Tonight’s show starts at 7 p.m. and will be performed in the school’s gym. Bring new and gently used shoes tied together. For more information, call 943-2485.