Making an Impact at Beautiful Feet

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This past year, we joined forces to launch a “whole family” fundraising campaign for Beautiful Feet, a Fort Worth-based ministry that has been serving poor and unsheltered people across our community for more than 40 years. We’re approaching the end of that effort, so I thought it was the perfect time to share a bit more about Beautiful Feet, along with my family’s experience volunteering for the ministry one morning.

If Beautiful Feet sounds familiar, you may remember my posts about it around this time last year when I initiated a city-wide collection drive to support the organization’s clothing ministry. Every year, more than 6,000 men and women turn to Beautiful Feet to clothe themselves, and it was incredibly rewarding to be able to donate so much from our own closet, plus your generous donations. That’s when I learned just how much this multi-tasking ministry actually does! 

Beautiful Feet hosts volunteer doctors, nurses, and dentists who offer weekly medical and dental clinics. There are on-site laundry services and shower facilities, men’s and women’s discipleship programs, a celebrate recovery program, and volunteers and staff prepare and serve two hot meals seven days a week. Of course, religious outreach is a priority here, and Beautiful Feet’s message is about love, forgiveness and, above all, acceptance. That’s why Beautiful Feet welcomes everyone to its bible study and church service, offered seven days a week, plus there’s even gospel-centered programming for kids and amazing Christmas programs.

Recently, my family and I were able to bring the campaign committee to actually experience how the pastors, volunteers and staff walk this walk of service in real life. On Good Friday, we volunteered to help Beautiful Feet do its beautiful work by assisting with its daily meal service ministry.

Our day kicked off with an early-morning worship service. This service is always a favorite with young pastors, who appreciate the engagement and the outreach. The message this morning was motivation, and boy did it work!

After the service, it was time to go to work. The staff “voluntold” us what to do, tasking us with preparing for the ministry’s guests to arrive. First, we assembled toiletry kits for the people taking showers, and we then moved on to placing plastic knives and forks with napkins to prep for meal services. It may sound menial, but those silverware setups don’t roll themselves!

When people began arriving for breakfast. It was our job to ensure they were welcomed with both kindness and a name tag.

As I’ve said, Beautiful Feet’s core teaching is inclusiveness. It’s easy to say “everyone’s welcome,” but here, they really mean it. Many people come from True Worth Place, a day resource shelter run by Presbyterian Night Shelter. The walk from True Worth is just 20 minutes, but for someone with a mobility impairment, that walk might as well take 20 years. They just can’t do it. But here’s the cool part – because of your donations, Beautiful Feet was able to purchase a wheelchair-accessible bus. It’s much easier to be welcoming when the invitation comes with a ride!

There are a lot of regulars who come here, and the more you volunteer, the more you’ll get to know these wonderful people and their stories. That’s one of the things I enjoy most about this community.

But I also love meeting the many volunteers in the kitchen. Home cooks and restaurant chefs come from across the city to prepare donated food from the Tarrant Area Food Bank, Feeding America and also local businesses like Walmart, Chick-fil-A and HEB. Let me tell you, these volunteers have some stories, too!

After breakfast, it was time for the worship service to begin. I’ve volunteered here without my family, and every time I do, at least a couple of people come forward to ask Jesus to come into their hearts. This day was no exception, and it’s always so fulfilling. This ministry has helped so many people want to do better and to be better that over half of their daily volunteers and paid staff are people who have personally experienced homelessness.

After the last amen, it was time for hot meal number two! Once everyone was seated in the dining room again, we brought them lunch. And when everyone was finished eating, some of us helped those with mobility limitations back to the bus while other volunteers stayed back to wipe down the tables, fold chairs and stack them on the tables.

After our morning of volunteer work was done, we went upstairs with Pastor Mike, his wife Sarah and Pastor Erik to review the donations that came from our campaign. As you can imagine, Beautiful Feet requires constant funding for everything from basic operating expenses to gas to medical equipment. That’s why all donations, even small amounts, are so impactful – and appreciated.

We celebrated big when we found out our efforts helped raise $26,972.18 for Beautiful Feet. Because of your generosity, we have decided to make this an annual event! As long as there’s a need for help and a desire to receive the gospel, I hope the SFWI community will continue to join together in Christ to make a difference in people’s lives and in our community. If you would like to also make an impact, click this link to donate. Any amount will be greatly appreciated.

PHOTO CREDIT: Sterling Steves/ Sterling Steves Photography

Christy Smith of SoFortWorthIt headshot

Christy is a wife, mama, community volunteer, and master party planner. She loves Jesus and all things fun and fab in The Fort. Follow along on Instagram and Facebook for all the latest.

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