Home Christian News Church Buys Shoe Store’s Entire Inventory to Give to Kids in Need

Church Buys Shoe Store’s Entire Inventory to Give to Kids in Need

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Transformation Church in Bixby, Oklahoma, calls generosity part of its “culture code,” and that was especially evident this Christmas season. At a December 13 worship service, the Tulsa-area megachurch donated $3.5 million to church members in need, to local organizations, and to other congregations—almost triple the $1.2 million it donated last December.

The church, led by Pastor Michael Todd, also spent $65,000 at a local shoe store, clearing the shelves so it could present a pair of sneakers to every resident of the Tulsa Boys’ Home.

“We give just to give, not to get,” the church states on its website.

Giving was ‘imperative’ in 2020

Transformation’s year-end spending spree covered a wide range of areas and touched many lives. The church purchased six cars for people, paid off student loans, covered housing payments, and even surprised some people with homes. It also donated $1.55 million to other churches and $1 million to organizations, including those that help sex-trafficking victims and recovering addicts.

“This year was more imperative in 2020 to be the hands and feet of Jesus,” says Pastor Todd, calling December 13 “the greatest day of our church history.”

On Twitter, the church writes: “Too often we want to read the Bible but we don’t want to be a living word. Today GOD met major PHYSICAL NEEDS through the vessel of (Transformation Church). GO AND DO THE SAME!”

Tammy Quarters, the church’s chief operating officer, says their stewardship philosophy is “all about inspiring belief.” She says, “Our mission is to represent God to people. We want to see their lives changed, but oftentimes, people have tangible needs that need to be met (first). And it’s like, ‘You can talk to me about your big God when you help me with this hunger issue or help me with this housing issue.’”

Church Surprises, Inspires Shoe-Shop Owner

When a team at Transformation, including Pastor Todd, walked in to Silhouette Sneakers & Arts and asked to purchase the store’s entire inventory of kicks, owner Venita Cooper initially thought she was being pranked. Instead, she soon learned the church planned to donate all 186 pairs—worth $65,000—to children at the Tulsa Boys’ Home, who may never have received new shoes before. Some of the sneakers resell for more than $1,000 per pair.

Jeff Johnson, volunteer coordinator for the home, says if residents could have anything for Christmas, they’d probably first ask for a family. “But if that’s not going to be the case this year,” he adds, “a new pair of Air Jordans, that’s going to rank up there.”

Purchasing the shoes, says Pastor Todd, “is a double blessing because (Cooper’s) business got blessed, but then all of these shoes are going to bless other people.”

Silhouette, a Black-owned business on what’s known as Tulsa’s Black Wall Street, has been open just one year and has managed to survive the pandemic. “We try not to pressure people to come out and shop with us, because we know these are hard times,” says Cooper. “This is the biggest Christmas gift I have ever received. It means the world. I’ve never been a recipient of such an incredible act of generosity and kindness.”

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Stephanie Martin, a freelance writer and editor in Denver, has spent her entire 30-year journalism career in Christian publishing. She loves the Word and words, is a binge reader and grammar nut, and is fanatic (as her family can attest) about Jeopardy! and pro football.