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Pasadena Interfaith Shoe Drive for the Needy
Culminates March 3rd with a Walk for Peace
More than 20 Pasadena area religious organizations are gathering hundreds of new and used shoes to be distributed to people in need in Pasadena. A joint Interfaith Peace Walk on Sunday, March 3 will underscore this shoe drive.
A dozen representatives from each organization from a wide variety of traditions will walk one mile from different directions and converge at 2:00 p.m. at Pasadena Memorial Park. Each peace walker will carry a symbolic pair of shoes. Walking groups are expected to carry banners or other identifying symbols. At the park, supporters not walking will gather to greet the walkers. The public is invited there to share in an inspirational program of music by local performers. Short prayers for peace also will be offered, led by members of the diverse faiths, demonstrating a shared commitment to work and live in peace for the common good.
This event also commemorates the 60th anniversary of the first cross-country walk by Peace Pilgrim. Born Mildred Lisette Norman (July 18, 1908 – July 7, 1981), Peace Pilgrim was an American pacifist, vegetarian, and peace activist. In 1952, she became the first woman to walk the full length of the Appalachian Trail in one season. Starting on Jan. 1, 1953 at the Rose Bowl parade in Pasadena, she adopted the name “Peace Pilgrim” and walked across the United States for 28 years. She vowed “to remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace.”
The March 3rd walk is being organized by Rev. Dr. Donna Byrns, Senior Minister of The Church of Truth Center for Awakening Consciousness in Pasadena, a post she has held for the last ten years.
“I am committed to the idea that we can all work together, honoring different traditions while maintaining our own personal set of beliefs, to form a world that works for everyone,” says Rev. Byrns. “We do this through education, understanding and joining in service to our community.”
A formidable list of local religious leaders is working with her to assure the success of this effort. They include: Rev. Nicholas Benson of the First Summit Evangelical Free Church, who is also President of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance Of Greater Pasadena; Cantor Ruth Berman Harris of the Pasadena Jewish Temple & Center; Rev. Tera Little of Throop Unitarian Universalist Church; Rev. Michael Lattimore of the Ahiah Center for Spiritual Living; Dr. Anthony Manousos of the Orange Grove Quaker Meeting.
Also organizing this event are: Rev. Inman Moore, a retired Methodist minister; Rev. Marlene Pomeroy of the First Congregational Church of Pasadena; Mona Shahgholi of Baha’i of Pasadena; Amanda Sargenti from Crescenta Valley United Methodist Church, Rev. Xia Judy Tatum of the Temple of the Goddess; Ed Vidimos from Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church and Kameelah Wilkerson of the Masjid Al Taqwa Islamic center. Also partnering with this event is the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s Pasadena Alumnae Chapter and the New Horizon School.
All participating organizations are accepting shoe donations. After this even, The First Congregational Church of Pasadena has agreed to be the shoe-sorting location. All types of shoes are needed, from sturdy work and play shoes to dress shoes. Many of the people targeted for help are trying to return to work, or are already on the job and need suitable dress shoes. Children’s shoes are needed too. The shoes collected will be distributed to local charities and out-reach programs such as Union Station, Haven House, and Rosemary Children Services.
The Mayor’s Office has been working with this effort “in a most positive manner, according to Rev. Byrns, and has indicated full support. Organizers also seek monetary donations to help pay park fees and other incidental expenses of this shoe drive. For more information, call Rev. Burns at 626-795-6905.