Area char­ity pro­vides shoes for storm vic­tims

The Boyertown Area Times - - LOCAL NEWS - By Evan Brandt ebrandt@21st-cen­tu­ry­media. com @PottstownNews on Twit­ter

NORTH COVEN­TRY » When Ron Miller and Holly WastlerMiller say they want to put “boots on the ground” in flood-rav­aged Texas, they mean it, lit­er­ally.

The cou­ple are the force be­hind In Ian’s Boots, a small non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion based in North Coven­try that pro­vides free shoes to the needy.

The Millers spent La­bor Day week­end in a 2005 Chevy van with more than 200,000 miles on the odome­ter, and a cargo area stuffed with shoes and socks, headed for the Lone Star State.

Specif­i­cally, the Millers headed for Katy, Texas, a town about 25 miles west of Hous­ton where their friend and for­mer North Coven­try res­i­dent Bar­bara Ko­sciewicz now lives.

Ko­sciewicz and her hus­band Paul have so far man­aged to avoid ma­jor flood dam­age in their home, but their town and neigh­bor­hood are suf­fer­ing.

She put the Millers in touch with a nearby shel­ter in Katy named Hope Im­pacts, which nor­mally houses about 60 home­less peo­ple, but is now “hold­ing as many peo­ple as they can, said WastlerMiller.

And next door is a cloth­ing and shoe do­na­tion cen­ter named Clothed By Faith.

For their project, they teamed up with an­other Malvern-based char­ity named The Joy of Socks, which pro­vides new socks to the needy.

“So we’ve got more than 1,000 pairs of flip-flops, sneak­ers, sketcher crocs, work boots and rain boots, as well as 940 pairs of new socks, that we have stuffed into that old van of ours,” Wastler-Miller said. “And we’ll get down there as soon as we can.”

The char­ity be­gan af­ter the cou­ple’s only son Ian was killed in a sled­ding ac­ci­dent in 2010 at the age of 12.

Emer­gency doc­tors who tried to save Ian found a mes­sage in one of his snow boots, a Bi­ble verse which reads: “Con­sider it pure joy, my brothers, when­ever you face tri­als of many kinds, be­cause you know that the test­ing of your faith de­vel­ops per­se­ver­ance. Per­se­ver­ance must fin­ish its work so that you may be ma­ture and com­plete, not lack­ing any­thing.”

Do­na­tions can be left in the drop box out­side their ware­house off Route 100, next to Diane’s Dis­count Pets and be­hind Hud­son’s Gun Shop.

Mone­tary do­na­tions can also be mailed to: In Ian’s Boots, 1486 S. Hanover Dr., Pottstown, PA 19465.

Online do­na­tions can be made through — http://ini­ans­boots.org/home.html — the char­ity’s web site

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