Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Sole Hope

It's amazing the amount of time I can waste when I'm not training 20 hrs a week.  So after the Ironman fog lifted, I had way way way too much time on my hands.  I was determined to take it really easy for 3 weeks, just light activity, one workout a day.  Let me my body fully heal and recover.  My bank account took the biggest hit, when it just happened to be black Friday MONTH and I had some fun spending some money on a few other things than swim, bike, run, race, eat.....

Work had been pretty slow, year end stuff, not a whole lot of marketing campaigns starting around the holidays for a pharmaceutical company. Again, too much time and an endless supply of internet (although sometimes I could swear that I've reached the end of it)...

Then something caught my eye on Facebook.  Someone had posted a link about shoes.  Most everyone who knows me, knows I LOVE shoes!  Red ones, sparkly ones, HIGH ones.... And while they rarely come out to play these days (except a good 2 weeks of holiday festivities) I still love them!  Well, this link wasn't about your typical Steve Madden, Donald Pliner, Cole Hahn... It was something totally different, totally BETTER.

The link was a blog post about getting together with friends, family, whichever you choose and building shoe kits for littles in Uganda who have a something called Jiggers on their feet.

wikipedia excerpt: "The chigoe flea or jigger is a parasitic arthropod found in most tropical and sub-tropical climates, not to be confused with the larval form of Trombiculidae found in more temperate climates"

While the link I found was a personal blog story about putting on a "shoe party" building patters that will be sent off to fair wage workers to actually sew the shoes together, the organization behind the idea is Sole Hope.  You can read their mission and story here.

To be honest I didn't really read a whole lot about this idea, I just sent a quick note out to some girlfriends wanting to know if anyone would be up for a little party where we make shoes for kids in Africa.  Basically a book wine club evening with friends, only actually doing something good, something productive.

The response was amazing, and within a couple of hours we had a group of 10 girls asking what they could bring, do and even someone to host it at their home!

Of course somehow, the least artsy/crafty person chose to plan this event (ME!), but I have to say.. in the end, everything turned out beautifully.

It was an absolutely wonderful night, with these ladies.  Great food, great conversation, laughs, and wine of course.  Melisa's house was the perfect location for this, and I even got to catch up with her not so littles that I haven't seen in WAY too long.

After several hours, several bottles of wine - we had traced, cut and safety pinned together 25 patterns for shoes.

What we did in the above picture, will end up looking something like this...

This was one of the absolute coolest things I've ever done, especially around the holidays.  Thursday morning I was able to pack and stuff our shoe patterns, donated medical supplies and a check for $100 to the organization that will help pay for the shoes to be sewn together.  Thank you to all the wonderful ladies who took part in this!  I hope we can find another fun and great cause to help out next year!  


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