A group of women whose spouses are working at gas production sites in the area and The Experience Church of Moundsville helped to provide hundreds of new shoes to local children in need in Brooke, Ohio, Marshall and Belmont counties.
The shoes were distributed through the Lace Up for Kids program, a joint project of Wendy's, WTOV-TV and the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley.
The shoes were distributed locally by the Brooke County Salvation Army.
GIVING BACK — A group of women whose spouses are working at gas production sites in the area and a Moundsville church helped to provide new shoes to local children in need in Brooke, Ohio, Marshall and Belmont counties. Among the many involved were: Stephanie Yates, the effort’s coordinator; Pam Barnell, Felecia Bowman, Jamie Chambers, Carole Coffey, Denise Guidry, Paula, Megan and Reace Harris, Stefanie and Rye Hawkins, Katie Hawks, Tracy and Laura Holden, Tabatha and Heather Houston, Bobbie, Payton and Tristan Kingsland, Kathy Lang, Christine Potje, Shelty Ringo and Mickey Westerman. -- Contributed
Stephanie Yates, coordinator for the pipeliners group, said wives who travel with their husbands to the work sites often feel isolated. By taking part in Lace Up for Kids, the women have a chance to contribute to the local community and socialize, she said.
"This gives us something productive to do," she said.
"It's an opportunity to meet other ladies and feel we have a purpose we can share our good fortune with others. The United Way needed shoes, and ladies love to shop, so we can get out and shop for something besides ourselves, something bigger than we are. We feel we can contribute to the communities we are staying in temporarily," Yates said.
She said the nature of their living quarters - recreational vehicle parks, scattered apartments and hotel rooms make it difficult to meet people, so the women distribute flyers and use social media to network and coordinate activities.
During a temporary stay in Zanesville, Ohio, Yates worked on a similar project with the United Way serving that area. As she was searching online for a local community service organization, the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley website caught her eye.
She learned of Lace Up for Kids through the website and knew it would be a project suitable for the pipeliners' wives, whose local stay might last only a few weeks.
The pipeliners and their wives come from Minnesota, Texas, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Florida, Oregon and Arkansas as well as Ohio and West Virginia.
Tim Seidler, pastor of The Experience Church, which meets at The Strand Theater in Moundsville, said donating to Lace Up for Kids was a matter of "bringing Jesus to the children" by providing something they lacked.
"When we learned about the need for new sneakers for school, we knew how crucial it is for something that we take for granted," Seidler said.