One act of kindness and compassion can change a person’s life forever. Angela McNally knows this too well as she journeyed from being a homeless child stealing food and eating from garbage cans to a spiritual guide helping those in need, no questions asked.
Last week, Angela spoke of the thousands of homeless people she has blessed throughout Northeast Pa, by collecting and distributing shoes to them. She also told the personal story that led to her charity work, of a painful childhood living on the streets of Uganda, shoeless, hungry, and alone.
“I give because I know what it’s like not to have. I know what it’s like to have no shoes on your feet. That’s the reason I do what I do,” Angela related.
Mountaintop resident Miriam Turner is now by Angela’s side, hoping to shoe as many homeless as possible. It was after a happenstance meeting with Angela, that Miriam, a business owner and missionary, joined in the movement. Miriam explained that, while charities exist for feeding or clothing the homeless, the need for shoes is overlooked.
Together, the two have been spreading the word of Angela’s nonprofit, Friends Can Make It Happen, in the hopes that those who need their charity will find it. Miriam described her mission teams, along with Angela, giving shoes to grateful homeless who are living under bridges in Wilkes-Barre and other nearby areas. “It’s been a real blessing to do this work,” Miriam related.
“People work hard, many live paycheck to paycheck. But I know they have an extra pair of shoes in their closets,” Angela said. “There are so many ways that we can give, that we can extend love to someone. It doesn’t mean giving money. It’s just sharing extra clothing or shoes or a meal. And the people are so appreciative.”
Angela grew up in Uganda, Africa, and, at the age of 12, lost both of her parents to Aids. In fact, the disease took the lives of most of the middle-aged people in her village, she said, leaving just the elderly to care for the many orphaned children. Angela’s grandmother was left to care for 25 children altogether, including Angela, her siblings, and cousins.
“I was exposed to child labor. I had to provide for the family,” Angela recalled. “It was so hard that I ended up leaving the village for the city in search of a better life.”
But Angela did not find a better life there. Instead, she lived on the streets
See Shoes page 4