When I asked my brother-in-law for some old jeans to use for a project, my sister quickly put together a bagful that I brought back to Donaldson from a weekend visit with my family. Collection bins were placed near the serving line of our dining room for people to contribute their old, clean jeans.
Maria Center residents, Sisters, co-workers, friends from the area who had read about the event in the local newspapers, joined on March 30, 2016 and worked for two hours cutting apart the jeans and then cutting parts traced on the denim that would be assembled as shoe parts for children in Uganda.
Those who gathered watched a video from the Sole Hope organization that explained how people in Uganda usually wear flip-flops, but there are no flip-flops small enough for the very young and growing children. As a result, children often get jiggers in the soles of their feet that cause infection and health-related problems.
Using cut up tires, the actual sole is made of a piece of rubber and the denim parts are sewed to that piece of rubber as the upper part of the shoe and the heal. The shoes are assembled by local people in Uganda and given to the children.
This project made all of us aware of how we can help people we have never met by just giving a few hours of our time to work together on a project that helps people to be healthy. Some of the women attending from local churches were going to take the project back to their churches.
Another afternoon will be scheduled so that people continue this project here at The Center at Donaldson.