ASHDOWN, Ark. — Pastor Jim Cross of Ashdown United Methodist Church participates in its annual Impact Walking for Christ event on April 9.
Funds from last year’s walk purchased approximately 300 pairs of new shoes for local children.
“It was a lot of shoes. We had to take a bus to pick them up,” Cross said.
Cross and other volunteers buy the shoes at Academy Sports + Outdoors in Texarkana. They source a variety of brands and sizes and distribute the shoes to local kids and teens just before the school year begins.
This is the 10th year for the walk and the third year for the shoe program, Cross said.
A portion of this year’s funds will also be donated to the Be Like CJ Foundation. The foundation is named in honor of Cedric “CJ” Harris, a 14-year-old local student and athlete who died of injuries sustained in an ATV accident.
Cross plans to walk about 30 miles around Ashdown. He hopes to bring in a few thousand more dollars this year.
“I would like to see between $25,000 and $30,000 raised altogether,” Cross said. Over nine years, the Impact Walk for Christ event has raised over $195,000 for the community.
In addition to the Be Like CJ Foundation, proceeds will go to the Harvest Texarkana Food Bank Backpack Program, Ashdown City Park and Ashdown Public Library, Children’s Hospital of Arkansas, Richmond Volunteer Fire Department and the fund for retired Arkansas State Police Trooper Clayton McWilliams.
“Every penny that comes in goes back to the community,” Cross said.
Donations can be made to Ashdown United Methodist Church, 145 E. Commerce St., Ashdown, AR 71822.