giving back

Giving Organization: Sole Hope Provides Closed Toe Shoes to People in Africa

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There are so many giving organizations like the Ronald McDonald House, Project Night Night, and Bake It Forward. Recently, I discovered a great organization I wanted our family to support called Sole Hope.

Sole Hope provides closed toe shoes for people in Africa. I liked their mission. I liked that they worked both globally and in my hometown and I loved that providing closed toe shoes was a project in which my family could participate in together.

Sure, there were some steps involved in creating fabric shoes and a video to watch, but how hard could tracing and cutting be? In fact, this family project would be so simple and fun, that I invited friends to our night of making shoes, and turned it into a party.

Our friends could come, bring their kids, work for a couple of hours, teach our children a little something about giving, and outfit an entire African village in shoes. It would be a fantastic night.

But things didn’t really work out that way.

See, the jean cutting scissors my guests brought to the party weren’t really fabric scissors, and the pinking shears were non-existent, and the little, plastic, heel pieces were difficult to cut out, and oh, the whole idea of creating an entire shoe out of matching fabric was completely lost.

After an hour and a half of sixteen adults and a handful of kids working together, we created two pairs of shoes.

As adults filed out my front door and I looked at random pieces of material scattered around my home, I fought feelings of disappointment. Luckily, my nine-year-old skipped by.

“I can’t believe we made two pairs of shoes tonight!”

I smiled.

Maybe creating hundreds of perfectly made shoes wasn’t the goal. Maybe the goal was learning about new people in a far away place, stepping outside of our usual life, and rallying friends for a cause, and maybe teaching kids about giving isn’t about a perfect finished product, but about the act of giving itself.

Can you think of a time when your good intentions went wrong, but you learned something anyway? How did you turn it into a positive situation?

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

Can one beyond blessed family move from addicted to themselves to devoted to others? The author of this post shares honestly at Amy L. Sullivan about her family’s attempt to become less me, me, me focused and more others centered. Amy writes for print and online publications and is also writing a nonfiction book about serving others.

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