Seriously though, when you are the boss you get to just throw ideas out there and decide things, and pretty soon a whole bunch of the church is staying after service to trace and cut denim and assemble kits that will be made into shoes that will change the world for Littles in Uganda, because - what else would you do on a Sunday afternoon?
Well it turns out, whatever that may be - it pales in comparison to the opportunity to save and change lives for children in Uganda, while providing fair trade work for adults as well!
If you've never heard of Sole Hope before, let me encourage you to check them out (here) and look into hosting your own Shoe Cutting Party (here)!
This is my second time hosting and third time participating and it seems it may just turn into an annual event! I wrote about my first Sole Hope party here, where I hosted in my home and invited some girlfriends over for a Saturday afternoon. This time around, we were hosting at our church on Sunday after service.
They make it so easy to host... you simply go to the website and order the Party Kit (cost is depending on size of party) and they send you all that you need to get started!
The Kit comes with a DVD with instructions as well as promo videos, bookmarks for your guests, a booklet that gives you step by step tips and directions, as well as a template to cut out and a sample of a pair of shoes!
An added step that is super fun to do, but not necessary at all, is that you can paint the denim! How fun is that? And because I'm an artist, and I have paint on hand... I decided to take a stack or two of jeans and paint them!
Because this is not my first rodeo, I hosted a pre-party party in my home with about 5 ladies and we cut jeans and traced some templates onto denim before our actual party date! This meant that once the 'real' party started, we would be seeing immediate results and this helps to keep our hands busy with cutting/tracing/kitting the shoes!
I was so glad that I did this!
We are a small church, and we offered a sign up and had many from our church register, but one thing I LOVED is that we had many who were not from our church want to come and help out, too! We had 28 register, and because this is real life and stuff happens, we had an actual count of 22 people show up and pitch in! (Not bad, right? It was actually quite wonderful!)
We enjoyed lunch together first and then just dug right in! It was a great outreach and a wonderful chance to chat and get to know each other as we worked!
Because we rent our space on Sundays only, sometimes we have a miscommunication and someone else arrives wanting to use the main room. Of course, this has only happened a couple of times but you know it had to happen during the party, right? They showed up right as we got started and we were able to work out a deal to stay in the main room for an hour or so and then move down the hall to a classroom instead. We really thought that most of our guests would leave when it was time to switch rooms...
...but they helped to carry tables and piles (and piles) of jeans and just kept on working!
By Sunday evening, we had made about 92 pairs of shoes, but because we had so much left over, a small handful of ladies wanted to gather again a few days later and use up what was already cut!
In the end, we made 152 pairs of shoes for kids in Uganda to live Jigger free...
It only took us a few hours and an investment of gathering donations --of jeans and money, and buying a few supplies (like safety pins, gallon ziplock bags, and Sharpie markers!) to change the lives of 152 Littles, as well as providing work for men in Uganda who assemble the shoes!
And if you know me at all, you know that my FAVORITE part is gathering all the shoes and laying hands on them and praying! We got to do that at a council meeting the next day and oh my goodness did we have a great time praying into the destiny and lives of the children who will get to wear these shoes!
This is a powerful, hands on ministry, and they really do make it so easy to host a party and encourage friends and family to help make a difference! You can also shop their store or learn of other ways to get involved!
And of course, I had to have a Prize, right? We let people guess at the beginning of the official party how many pairs of shoes they thought we would make in the end. The guesses were as low as 48 (still a great guess) and as high as 1000 (clearly a newbie but I loved her faith!) The winner, who guessed 137 --the closest to 152 without going over, won a gorgeous Paper Bowl from *Mercy House Global.
I encourage you to look into Sole Hope. Asher Collie just so happened to run across the ongoing Jigger problem in Uganda while on YouTube looking for information on adoption. She says she knew right away that she could ignore it and decide it was someone elses' problem or she could pray about how she could help!
I'm so glad she prayed...
P.S. I'm linking up with these lovely writers:
Kelly Chripczuk for #SmallWonders
Kelly Balarie for #RaRaLinkUp