I'm MONTHS behind, but wanted to share about my newest passion! Last March while attending my adoption conference, I happened upon a glorious booth that has been life changing for me! SOLE HOPE is an organization that maintains the mission of fighting the JIGGER epidemic in Uganda/Africa. You see, Jiggers are small sand fleas that bite and burrow themselves into the exposed feet of an unsuspecting host. They feed directly from human blood supply, so as they dig in deep, they camp out, lay eggs and you guessed it, more jiggers! Now 1 or 2 Jiggers is not an issue, but many jiggers cause painful blisters, and wounds making it difficult for people to walk. Severe infection results and even death. (A note, since people have asked, Jiggers and Chiggers are different. Jiggers are in dry climates, chiggers in humid ones. Chiggers bite, excrete an enzyme which causes and itchy allergic reaction, Jiggers move into their host indefinitely...YUCK!)
So what is the solution? It's EASY. SHOES!!! :)
People host shoe-making parties. The supplies and donations are sent to Uganda, where a Sole Hope missions team has taught women to sew the shoes together with industrial sewing machines (donated) and recycled bicycle tires are used for the shoe soles (major green project!) Women are paid a fair wage for their work and this in turn lowers adoption rates since women are gainfully employed and can afford to care for their children! Win-win! Shoes are distributed to people in Uganda so that they may avoid Jigger infestation.
Simple. Life-saving. Amazing!
It started when I bought a kit at the conference. A simple kit with one shoe pattern, an amazing DVD, and instructions for hosting a "shoe party." As God would have it, we were due for our bi-annual service project at our church's ladies night. I approached our pastor's wife and her partner and suggested we do a shoe party. What came of that was almost 100 pair of shoes, $220 in donations and unity, tears, hugs and serving "the least of these" as God commands.
And guess what else? I was asked by Sole Hope's founders to be a Sole Hope Ambassador! I was honored flattered and humbled. How could I say no?
At this point I am currently working with several friends to hold Shoe Parties at their churches, girl scout troops, service organizations, and just with their girlfriends!
Can I tell you that when I'm posting about Sole Hope, emailing or chatting with a friend about shoe parties, supplies and tips and suggestions that I am
SO. IN. MY. GOD-GIVEN. ELEMENT.
I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt, that if nothing more, I attended that conference to get involved with Sole Hope, (We all know I got WAY More out of the conference!) I cannot tell you how giddy I get when someone contacts me to find out more, wants information on how to host a party or just asks me what a Jigger is. IT'S MY PASSION!!! I simply cannot wait until God and life affords me the opportunity to travel to Uganda with Sole Hope and help with cleaning the feet of these poor people and distributing shoes! Hands down the mission trip I MUST complete!
So are YOU interested in having a party? If you are, let me know. Many people can't afford to donate a lot of money to a cause. But most everyone has an old pair of jeans laying around that could become several pairs of shoes and prevent Jiggers from taking the life of a Ugandan and provide a woman the means to support her family.
Seems like a no brainer right? Looking for a way to quite literally be God's hands and "feet"? Well, contact me and I'd love to help!!!
Setting up inside. Satan tried to derail our efforts with a gas leak. We had to evacuate the building, so we had the awesome boy scouts meeting at our church, carry everything outside! Nothing was gonna stop us!!!
Getting set up
My tracing table of ladies
Laurie-Women's night organizer and my partner in crime!
After we were cleared to re-enter the building, we came back inside!
Cutting and assembling
Quality Control! They were picky! :)
Making a difference!
Me and my bestie Nicki-who supports me in ALL of my crazy passions!
Me explaining the mission of Sole Hope!
Cutting up milk jugs for the heel pieces
So happy with the awesome ladies who came to help!
SO Much material was brought, we had more than enough for MANY SHOES!
SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you want to have a party, let me know. I'll hook you up with instructions and possibly another Sole Hope Ambassador in your area!