STEP IT UP PROGRAM
This was our third year working with the First Baptist Church in Elgin to provide brand new shoes to as many children in our community as possible for the beginning of the new school year. The program has been going on for nine years. Elgin Elks Lodge #737 wanted to give back to the community. It was with the help of Jim Rosenthal, a deceased Elgin Elks Lodge #737 officer, that this shoe program was brought to our attention at a lodge meeting. Elgin Elks started with donating $500 from our Gratitude Grant. We wanted to do more. Sharlene Huske asked the members at a lodge meeting about writing a Beacon Grant to help with purchasing shoes. They were told they had to volunteer to help with purchasing the shoes, setting up and distributing, all of which they were more than willing to commit to doing. Again, the second year we applied for the Beacon Grant and were approved. We received $2,000 for ENF for the Beacon Grant. Elgin wanted to do more to make this our big project so we applied for the Beacon Grant ($2,000) and the Promise Grant ($2,500) from Elks National Foundation. We were approved. This year we provided 144 pairs of brand new shoes. The goal for 2017 was to collect and then distribute 1,650 pairs of shoes. Thanks to many who donated to the First Baptist Church, including our Lodge, 1,592 pairs of shoes were donated. The Elgin Elks #737, along with the First Baptist Church, Elgin, IL distributed 1,050 pairs of shoes to our young people. You know you are doing the right thing when the children come up to you, smile and sincerely say thank you. We had a Drug Awareness display where we passed out fliers and coloring books. To top it off Elroy was there to greet the children and their parents (thank you to Debbie Lafferty, Brookfield Lodge for being Elroy). All members from the Elks wore shirts with the Step-It-Up logo on them along with the Elgin Elks Lodge #737 and the First Baptist Church. We wanted to make sure everyone knew who we were. We had over 23 volunteers from the Elks, their children, their spouses and the Ladies of the Elks. When we left there on Saturday, distribution day, we knew why we are an Elk. It is the most blessed feeling. It really shows: “Elks Care – Elks Share”.
Thank you to ENF for approving our Grants. Thank you to the many Elks members, spouses, children, and Ladies of the Elks for providing your time to this wonderful program. Thank you to my co-grant writer Sue Steinbach. Thank you to the First Baptist Church for letting us partner with them.
God bless each one of you.
Secretary, Grant Co-writer
Loyal Knight, Grant Co-writer