May 9, 2016

How To Make a Difference: Hosting a Sole Hope Shoe Cutting Party

One of the exciting things of starting a church is that you get to be the boss.  Also - this is one of the NOT exciting parts, too... but I digress...

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!  

 Next up is to invite your guests and get the word out that you are collecting denim! (It's helpful to let the guests know the other needed supplies as well... but the more denim you collect the more pairs of shoes you are able to cut!)  We actually had TOO MANY pairs of jeans... even AFTER our party, we had a backseat literally filled with donations of jeans! We kept some for another party in the future, but passed most of them on to Dad's Heart, a ministry in our church that reaches out to the less fortunate in our Valley! They were thrilled to get the jeans and will hand them out over the next few months!

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

Click HERE for more info on hosting your own Shoe Cutting Party!


  1. Anonymous5:42 PM

    How absolutely wonderful! I have never heard of Sole Hope but now have. You have truly blessed many feet! Thank you for doing this for these children.

    1. Linda, I am so excited to be able to introduce you to Sole Hope! Blessed are the feet... xoxo

  2. I love that you laid hands on the shoes and prayed over them. Laying on of hands is one of my most favorite things too. I think I want to do a shoe cutting party at church. "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News!" :)

    1. Laying on of hands... of COURSE it's your favorite too! You should have FELT the anointing and blessing of the Lord as we did that over all these shoes! xoxo

  3. Oh this is so neat! Thanks for sharing with us - I get the church planting thing completely! We did it for 11 years and recently moved to pastor an existing church. Awesome, scary, exciting, pull your hair out insanity and incredibly rewarding - all that put together = church planting and being the boss. HA!

    1. Yes... yes - pastoring (whether a new plant or an established house) is all of those things, isn't it? Thanks so much for stopping by! (As IF we get to be the boss, right? Hopefully it's Him more than it's them... or me!) ;)

  4. Karrilee,
    I love this...all the people who got involved and for how you used your gifts :-) What a blessing to be a blessing :-)

    1. I know... I have to think but I'm pretty sure we had 5 churches represented and multi generations... it was a lot of fun and we'll definitely do it again! It IS a blessing to be a blessing! Thanks for stopping by, Dolly! (And sharing on Twitter!)

  5. Fabulous to get the whole church involved. Way to go!

    1. I was so thrilled that they were so on board from the start! We got a good bunch! ;)

  6. What a neat idea, Karrilee! I've never heard of this before. It sounds like a great project! I coordinate the "large group" portion of our church's Ladies Bible study. We just did a service project for a local crisis pregnancy center. This sounds like another service project that has great potential! I will hang on to this idea!

    1. Oh Dianne, I love this! Yes - this would be a PERFECT project for your Ladies study! I so hope that you do it! How fun! (and I love that your group does outreach projects! So Kingdom!) xoxo


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