17 Oct 2016 Katie’s Sole Hope Story
I’ve been involved with Sole Hope since hosting a shoe party for my 30th birthday. I am so excited that more women are going to have a chance to experience a shoe cutting party with women’s bible study on our Detour Day. To prepare, here are some reasons why Sole Hope is so great (in no particular order).
You own jeans (that you probably should no longer own). In one of my husband’s business classes, they talked about “Big Hairy Audacious Goals”, or BHAGs. This acronym is awful, but it perfectly describes my relationship with my jeans from previous weights and eras. On my most optimistic days, I believe that there will be a day that I will fit into these wide-leg, ultra-low-waist jeans with bedazzled pockets. However, I’ve come to realize that day will probably coincide with the day I meet Jesus and he tells me, “Well done, good and faithful servant- here are your size 2s, and they are totally in style up here.” Pumpkin pies are back in stock at Costco and Oprah says we can eat bread, so until then, its time to say goodbye.
Also- while figures vary, current polls indicate that 84 percent of husbands will not notice if you donate their jeans from 1985 that have been collecting dust in the back of the closet. So go ahead and say their goodbyes for them.
You have basic cutting and multitasking skills. I am not a seamstress or a knitter or a crochet-er, but I now get why so many of the moms I knew growing up took up those hobbies. There is something therapeutic in the rhythms of creating something with your hands. The trace-and-cut rhythm of shoe cutting requires little skill – I’m not being hyperbolic when I say that a Kindergartner could do it, because I’ve done this project with them.
As women, I know we are fantastic multitaskers. I have had some of the best, hardest, and most rewarding conversations with girlfriends as we cut shoes together. Its been a space for me to introduce friends to faith, because exactly zero women, Christian or not, who are invited to participate in something directly benefiting children and families in Africa and say, “I’m totally against that, so I’ll pass.”
You can provide a gift to another mother. When my youngest was born a month early, she spent some time in the NICU. I was a mess of emotions, worried about my baby and what could be wrong, what kind of life she would have, if there was something that we could do to just take her home. With hormones and worries swirling through my head, a nurse wrapped Delaney in a small pink quilt. While the quilt didn’t “fix” her, it calmed my heart knowing that someone who I didn’t know took the time to make this quilt for my little girl. Think of the women whose children cannot walk without pain because of foot-related illnesses. The women who think they’ve done something wrong, that this is some sort of voodoo or punishment. The women who wonder if their kids will ever be ok. Sole Hope finds these kids and treats their wounds, and sends them home changed, both physically and spiritually.
The founder of Sole Hope, Asher Collie puts it this way: “If this was my child, on the other side of the world and I was sitting there holding them as they were in pain, and I knew that someone on the other side of the world knew about this problem and did nothing, how would I feel?”
The good news is that we can do something, even from our corner of the world. The templates I first ordered from Sole Hope have been used to cut over 800 pairs of shoes, all in size 4T. Every time I have a new group asking me about hosting shoe cutting parties at schools, churches and home parties, I check with Sole Hope to see if they need us to retire this template and cut a new size. The answer is always the same – “No, we still need size 4T!” I know every woman has seen a three- or four-year-old, and knows how absolutely crucial their feet are to this age. I imagine these moms holding kiddos who are trying to wriggle free, knowing that the arduous task of keeping them off their feet is easier than dealing with the pain their kids will feel if they let them move like a normal preschooler.
As we cut shoe templates on October 25th, let’s think about all the precious feet we helping to cover and celebrate all the running, leaping, skipping and jumping that will happen as a result of our project. If you are interested in hosting your own shoe-cutting party or learning about Sole Hope, please let me know!
Check out more about Sole Hope, here.