With 2020 finally coming to a close, a church in Oklahoma is doing its part to end the year on a positive note.
Last weekend's Sunday service at Transformation Church wasn't an ordinary one thanks to pastor Michael Todd. The pastor, who's also a New York Times best-selling author and boasts over one million Instagram followers, connected with Tulsa shop Silhouette USA to make a special purchase: every sneaker in the store.
"I was in shock, I didn’t believe him," Silhouette USA owner Venita Cooper told a local TV station. "I was like, ‘Am I being punked?'"
But it was no prank. In all, Todd and his Transformation Church team purchased 186 pairs of sneakers for a grand total of $65,000, completely clearing out the store's inventory.
"We are now giving shoes to the Tulsa Boys' Home to be able to take exclusive shoes and give them to people that may not ever otherwise have an opportunity to own something like that," Todd said.
Now, Cooper says she's inspired to figure out more ways to give back, and she's also hoping to replenish Silhouette's stock with new consignment items. "For the consignors who have trusted us with your inventory, your sneakers have sold, you might have heard…We are buying sneakers, we want to focus on local resellers who are trying to flip for some quick cash for the holidays," Cooper said.
Transformation Church's $65,000 sneaker buyout was part of a larger effort that saw the church make a total of $3.5 million in donations. Other money went to paying off homes, cars, and student loans, as well as to victims of sex trafficking and addiction.
“This year, we felt that it was more imperative in 2020 to actually be the hands and feet of Jesus," Cooper said. "It was the greatest day of our church history."