There are a lot of things we can take for granted living in the US, like the fact that our children are probably not going to lose their limbs to bug bites. But now that I’ve found this incredible organization called Sole Hope that helps prevent that very thing in Africa, I’m not only enlightened, I’m inspired to help.

Essentially there are these bugs in Africa called jiggers. Ever heard of them? I hadn’t. They are little sand fleas that burrow into bare skin, lay eggs, and can lead to huge problems like tetanus, gangrene, and even paralysis and amputation which most often impacts people who don’t wear closed-toe shoes, like children. So Sole Hope sends volunteers to help treat and prevent the diseases. But beyond that, they also train widowed mothers to become shoemakers, teaching them the skills and helping them to acquire a sewing machine so they can earn fair wages to support their families.

There are a few ways to help. First off, Sole Hope has started selling baby and toddler shoes online, plus tees for kids and adults, with proceeds going back to support everything else they do. I can’t think of a better baby shower gift. And evidently adult shoes are in the works too.

Another option: While we don’t all have the ability to help in Africa, we do all have the ability to help with a shoe cutting party, it turns out. You gather together 10, 25, 50, 100 of your closest friends to sit together and cut fabric to be made into shoes by Sole Hope’s shoemakers.

And the healing cycle continues.

It’s a pretty amazing set-up: Sign up to host a party and for a very low cost, they’ll send you everything you need to get started besides the fabric and scissors. Even an invitation you can email to friends. And I love that each piece of fabric you personally cut will end up on a child’s foot, helping to protect them from jigger infestations.

We look forward to seeing more innovative charitable ideas like this in the future. I mean, if we can gather friends to watch the Oscars or the Super Bowl, surely we can throw in a little do-gooding while we’re at it.

Find out more about how to help make kids in need healthier at the Sole Hope website. 

[h/t She Does Justice ]

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