Church makes warm donation to area nursing home residents

Judd Weil
Special to Dodge City Daily Globe
The members of First United Methodist Church worked together to provide socks and slippers to the nursing home population of Dodge City.

The congregation of First United Methodist Church in Dodge City came together in an act of kindness called the Warm Toes Project to deliver socks and slippers to the almost 200 residents residing in Dodge City long-term health care facilities on Dec. 15.

The Rev. Jerre Nolte gave the creative credit for conceptualizing the project to church members Sherry Polkinghorn and Bonnie Castelli.

The project began rather small, with only members of the congregation who lived in Dodge City nursing homes in mind.

“We started out with large print books, word puzzles, photography books, thinks like that and then it quickly grew to us realizing that a lot of residents in these care centers need proper socks or slippers so that they don’t slip, and we thought it also might be a think where they need to keep their feet warm,” Nolte said. “That’s how the project got its humble beginnings.”

Upon realizing how many people lived in the Dodge City nursing homes, the Warm Toes Project grew exponentially.

The church set sponsorships at $10 a sponsor and through the overwhelming generosity of its congregation and community members met the quota to fund the project within six weeks.

“It was completely funded before we started delivering,” Nolte said. “The generosity of Dodge Citians was just remarkable — it’s astounding.”

The socks, packaged by about 15 members of the church with care-written notes, were delivered by Polkinghorn and Castelli dressed as Christmas elves. The entire delivery process took place from Dec. 10-15.

Nolte said that regardless of faith affiliation, First United Methodist Church delivered the socks and slippers to all the long-term care facilities in the Dodge City community.