First Blessing events typically proceed as follows.

Sign up

Children are identified through our partners at Communities in Schools, foodbanks, and individuals within the congregation. Parents are contacted by school counselors and volunteers from the church about their desire to participate in the First Blessing event in their area. If the parent chooses to participate, they will provide the name and estimated shoe size of their child. Parents will often be contacted by mail, phone, and/or email and given an assigned time to arrive the day of the event. 

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Registration and sizing

On the day of the event, families will be greeted by volunteers from the host church and given name badges. Children’s’ feet will be measured for shoe size and they will be given new socks.

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shepherds and Meals

Families then proceed to meet their "Shepherd," the church volunteer who will chaperone them through the process and share information about Christ and the church if desired. The family will be provided with a hot, "sit-down" meal with the Shepherd.

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shoe and sock distribution

Families then proceed to the designated shoe and sock room, where Shepherds help parents fit children with the shoes of their choice. Typically, there are enough shoes in the shoe room so that each child can have their choice of three types of shoe in their size. Children are provided with a new pair of socks at this point. 

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bibles and checkout

The First Blessing journey ends with a checkout process, where children are given Bibles and a bag to carry their new (or old) shoes. Families are greeted by the ministerial team, given contact information for the church, and encouraged to attend services if they do not already. 

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Optional events

Host churches often provide a little extra fun for the kids before they leave, often with face painting and balloon artists. Given that First Blessing typically occurs in the Christmas season, many churches have pictures with Santa, gift wrapping of shoes, and Nativity scenes.