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Power of Social Media Leads to Miraculous Response for MUST

Blake Canterbury, of Be Remedy, and Piedmont Church sent out tweets Saturday asking their followers to donate shoes for 150 people who live with MUST. The result was 456 pairs of shoes in 19 hours.

What happens when social media and Christian charity intersect? Those living in homelessness will be able to select a pair of much-needed shoes this week, thanks to a shoe drive challenge that went out on twitter Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.

The story began when Blake Canterbury of Be Remedy visited and asked for a list of the greatest needs. Canterbury’s effective social media approach matches needs with people who want to meet those needs via his twitter feed. 

“I was there when all of this started happening and I confess, I broke down in tears," Kaye Cagle of MUST said. "It was so moving to see people give the very shoes off of their feet to help a neighbor in need. And when the children started coming forward to give up their shoes, it was a very emotional moment.”

Canterbury learned that MUST needed shoes for the 150 people who live with the ministry in their three housing programs in Cobb and Cherokee counties, so he sent out a tweet asking for gently used shoes and gave everyone connected to Be Remedy 19 hours to respond.

People started retweeting the need and offering to meet Canterbury to give him shoes. He spent Saturday evening picking up donations and again Sunday morning. 

"Most of the donations were very practical shoes. Some people had on work boots, some had on comfortable flats or loafers. Some were expensive gifts. We have everything from cowboy boots to Gucci and Prada shoes."

Ike Reighard, who is also President of MUST Ministries and Senior Pastor at Piedmont Church, offered to mention the shoe drive to his congregation and ask people to leave their shoes at the altar if they wanted to donate. The church tweeted the plan to the congregation Saturday night.

Canterbury and his marketing director Amy Bley arrived at Piedmont with a carload of shoes to donate at the 11 o’clock service. Some of the people in the early service left and went shopping, coming back with boxes of new shoes. Some went home and gathered shoes for the drive. Others from both services simply left the shoes from their feet at the altar and went home barefooted.

“I was there when all of this started happening and I confess, I broke down in tears. It was so moving to see people give the very shoes off of their feet to help a neighbor in need,“ said Kaye Cagle, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at MUST Ministries.  “And when the children started coming forward to give up their shoes, it was a very emotional moment.”

When the shoe drive was complete, Be Remedy had 456 pairs of shoes donated to MUST. 

“Most of the donations were very practical shoes. Some people had on work boots, some had on comfortable flats or loafers. Some were expensive gifts. We have everything from cowboy boots to Gucci and Prada shoes,” Cagle said. “Our donations, thanks to Be Remedy, came from all over the area. Then Piedmont Church made the final donation. It was a meaningful effort and one I’ll never forget. The power of social media to help others is exciting.”

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