Positively the Heartland: Woman collects shoes to fund missionary work

Posted at 7:20 AM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-15 08:30:26-04

PAPILLION, Neb. (KMTV) — Grace Dehaan hasn't even been with Vision Specialists a full year yet, but her hard work and positive outlook have left such an impact, the company is helping her prepare to leave her job.

“We don’t want her to leave,” said Vision Specialists optometrist Dayna Hazlewood. “She’s been wonderful on our staff. But when you watch how much it lights her up from the inside out, she has to go.”

“Helping people with physical fitness and health and just sharing the gospel,” Dehaan said. “It just makes me so giddy when I think about it.”

Dehaan joined a six-month missionary program called Youth with a Mission. She leaves for training in Hawaii in September. She doesn't know which country or even continent she'll be assigned after training but she is ready to serve.

“I just began to pray,” Dehaan said. “'Okay God, this has come up in such random conversations and I feel like this is you putting this on my heart for a little bit.' So, I just prayed about it and had confirmation from the Lord.”

The Youth with a Mission Program comes with a price tag.

“I partnered with a company called Funds 2 Orgs,” Dehaan said. “I am collecting 2,500 pairs of shoes and in return, for every pound, Funds to Orgs will give me 40 cents.”

That comes out to around $1,000.

“I looked at my closet and was like I have so many shoes I don’t even wear,” Dehaan said. “There are so many people out there just like me and so I was like this is one way that people can help support me and don’t feel like they have to give actual money because not everybody has money that they can give.”

Tennis shoes, sandals, new, well-loved - she'll take them all if they have some wear left in them.

“All of these shoes will be donated to third world countries around the world,” Dehaan said. “They will help create jobs and even just the simple need of shoes on people’s feet.”

You can bring the shoes to any Vision Specialists location through July 9.

“Everybody in our company was just all hands on deck to help her and get her goals pursued as well,” Hazlewood said.

“I’m just so humbled by the support from everyone, so incredibly thankful,” Dehaan said.

Anyone who donates shoes to Dehaan can be entered into a drawing for a free eye exam and a discount off glasses and contacts.

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