Last Sunday was a bit of a magical day.

The Dale held its first ever Boot Fitting Clinic, thanks to some amazing folks from The Meeting House with whom we’ve been in relationship for many years. These folks raised money, purchased over forty pairs of winter boots, delivered them to The Dale, and then showed up on Sunday with a crew of volunteers, PPE, disinfectant, and foot-sizers (like you would find in an actual shoe store).

Together we set up three boot-fitting stations, with two Meeting House folks at each station. One would welcome the next person in line to come and sit down to have their foot sized, and the other would run back and forth to the tables full of boots until the right fit was found.

All that Erinn, Olivia, Meagan and I needed to do was manage the line up (ie. chit chat with our friends, while offering other winter items like hats, mitts, and socks.) The line looked pretty long, and we were a little concerned that people would get impatient or that there wouldn’t be enough boots to go around. However, as the sunny afternoon progressed, we noticed the following astonishing facts:

The line up moved slowly. But the reason for the slow pace was that every person was treated by the Meeting House volunteers with utmost respect and dignity, and were not rushed into accepting boots if they weren’t the right fit. People in line could see this, and it was evident that when their turn came along they would be treated in the same manner. As a result, the line up was chill and even jovial.

People walked away with boots that were the right size for their feet. There were three or four people for whom the available boots didn’t work (so their size, name and contact info was taken, so that we could get boots from them in the coming weeks.) The vast majority of the time, however, the boots that had been purchased were the size that people needed. As the line shortened and the supply of boots dwindled, boot sizes continued to align with foot sizes. Eventually there were only two pairs of women’s boots left, and there were two more women in line. And they were a perfect match.

By the time it was all said and done, there was only one pair of boots left (which we were able to give away on Monday). The Dale staff and the Meeting House folks looked at each other in delight and incredulity. It worked…REALLY well!

I don’t understand exactly how God works, and why things sometimes (often) just don’t work out, even when you pray and have faith and do your best. I don’t know why life is so hard for so many people, so much of the time. But when things like this Boot Fitting Clinic happen, I am thrilled and amazed and grateful for what I believe is the loving hand of God at work in the world.

So, there you have it. A bit of a boot miracle. 🙂

By joannacatherinemoon

I am the Lead Community Worker at The Dale Ministries in Parkdale, Toronto, ON. The Dale seeks to create safe welcoming spaces in which all people, particularly those on the margins, are encouraged to participate fully, to the best of their abilities and journey together toward a deeper experience of the life God has given us. This blog is meant to help keep my supporters connected with life at The Dale.


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