Milton First Assembly Associate Pastor Dusty Roberts and his staff approached the Assemblies of God Compassion Ministry last spring about applying for a grant for students in a local school to receive a new pair of shoes. Roberts said he was happy the church received the grant.
“We looked at all of the schools around us and we could only select one. King Middle School qualified to meet all of the requirements,” he said. Roberts said King Middle is a Title 1 secondary school. This means more than 75 percent of the attending students receive free or reduced lunches.
Pastor Roberts selected Milton Police Department (MPD) and the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office, (SRSO) to help with fitting each child in the King Middle School Media Center on Wednesday.
“We wanted to give the officers and deputies an opportunity to interact with the students for a positive interaction,” said Roberts.
MPD officers, SRSO deputies and church volunteers worked together to fit each student, (around 600 total), within just three hours.
Chief Tony Tindell directed each student to a waiting chair to be fitted. He said it was a bit like directing traffic inside the media center.
“This is a great way for our officers to interact with students,” said Tindell, “I think it’s important for the students to understand they are a part of the community and that we are here to protect and serve them as well. They are our future. They are our future leaders. Our students are important to us.”
“In a couple of months, the students will receive their shoes,” said Roberts. He said Milton First Assembly will organize the shoe delivery and the same officers, deputies and church volunteers will give the shoes to the students they fitted.
Roberts said Milton First Assembly of God will seek to continue the opportunity again next year. The shoe company was kept anonymous at the church’s request.