Appalachian Ministries (AM), an outreach program run through University of the Cumberlands (UC), will be hosting its annual Shoes 4 the Soul event on UC’s campus on September 7.

Each year, just as a new school year begins, students and staff from University of the Cumberlands assist hundreds of children by providing new shoes, socks, and backpacks filled with school supplies at Shoes 4 the Soul. The event is a way for Cumberlands to serve the community and children within the Whitley County area.

Approximately 500 children from Williamsburg Independent, Boston Elementary, Pleasant View Elementary, Whitley North Elementary, Whitley East Elementary and Oak Grove Elementary will be welcomed onto campus for the event.

During Shoes 4 the Soul, Cumberlands students, faculty, and staff wash the feet of the children and fit them with their new shoes and socks. Children also have the opportunity to spend time with Cumberlands students while participating in a variety of organized games and activities.

“It’s about getting involved in the community,” said Jasmine Newport, Director of AM. “It’s one of those events where the University and community intertwine. We can come together and show the community that the University cares about them.”

All incoming UC freshmen participate in Shoes 4 the Soul as their first introduction to Cumberlands’ mission of serving others. It is an opportunity for UC students to learn more about their new community while putting smiles on the faces of local children.

At the 2017 Shoes 4 the Soul event, 10 local pastors came and spoke to UC’s freshman class. The pastors shared the Gospel with the students and explained the meaning behind washing the children’s feet, which is to show the same loving humility to the children that Jesus showed to his disciples, according to the Bible.

“We want to show the love of Christ,” said Newport. “If we, as a university, want to be a ‘shining city on a hill,’ what better way to do that than by serving the children and families in our local area? We get to help show these kids how loved they are. That’s really cool.”

Shoes 4 the Soul first began at Cumberlands in 2011 and has touched the lives of more than 2,100 local children to date. The program will help another 500 children this year.

To ensure the continued success of Shoes 4 the Soul, UC has set a University-wide goal of supporting these 500 local children. For just $30, you can sponsor a child and provide them with a new pair of shoes, socks, a backpack filled with school supplies, and a lifetime of knowing that you made a difference in our community.

To sponsor a child through Shoes for the Soul, visit To volunteer at the event itself, contact Jasmine Newport at jasmine.newport [at] (jasmine[dot]newport[at]ucumberlands[dot]edu).

Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction offering quality undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and online degree programs. Learn more at