Local Lady Delivers Thousands of Shoes to Africa

March 19, 2017 06:13 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Pay it Forward recipient Laurie Neff is a volunteer with ‘Soles for Jesus’. The group collects shoes and ships them overseas to Africa. She used the money she received from Pay it Forward to ship shoes and pay for some travel expenses for her mission trip to Kenya at the end of 2016.

"The Pay It Forward and just the support of the community was just amazing so I could make this trip happen," Neff said.


Neff's mission group gave away 8,000 pairs of shoes during their 10 day trip. People stood in long lines just to have their feet washed and receive shoes. Neff said she helped an elderly woman who truly impacted her.

"She said, 'This is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to her' nothing has ever happened to her like this in her life. And she was just in tears and so thankful and that was very very touching to me," Neff said.

Now, Neff wants to take her passion back to Albert Lea. She's been working with First Presbyterian Church to collect more shoes to send overseas.

"One of the things that we like to do at First Pres, is when somebody is passionate about something especially for me, missions minded, we want to support them in any way that we can," Assistant Pastor Stephen Piper said. “So it's a natural fit for her and for us to support her to continue with her passion, with what she loves.”

Neff said ‘Soles for Jesus’ was not just a passion, but also a calling.

"It was like God spoke to me and told me that 'This is not the end. We need to bring this back to Albert Lea," Neff said.

That’s exactly where Neff will continue to make a difference.

"It's just been a passion of mine," Neff said.

First Presbyterian is collecting shoes of all sizes and conditions. The donation box is located just inside the front doors of the church. If you would like to be a part of this work and provide shoes for those who need it in Africa, click on this link:


Elise Romas

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