CCLP/DAVID J. HARDIN - Sixth Grader Matthew Petty helps cut jeans at Sole Hope cutting party held last Saturday at the Copperas Cove High School.

Volunteers come together for Sole Hope

Cove Leader-Press
On Saturday, the CCHS senior class and members of the community held a shoe cutting party at the Copperas Cove High School cafeteria and cut up more than 800 pairs of denim jeans for about five hours.
Those cutout pieces will now be sent to Uganda, and shoemakers and people employed by a group called Sole Hope will transform those pieces into shoes for children who desperately need them.
Sole Hope is a charity organization that helps turn jeans into shoes for children in Uganda. The non-profit organization has a focused effort in Uganda to battle the problem of jiggers. Jiggers are small sand fleas that burrow into the bare feet of thousands of Ugandan children who often live their lives without adequate footwear and a misconception about the cause of jiggers. The result is infection, gangrene, paralysis, and occasionally amputation and even death.
Sole Hope Texas Advocate Pat Schaerdel represents the organization by attending fundraisers, shoe cutting parties, and makes presentations, all in an effort to share the mission of Sole Hope.
At the party on Saturday, she showed the volunteers a short video about the organization and the impact it makes on the children of Uganda.
“The smiles on the children’s faces when they receive a pair of shoes, makes all of the effort worthwhile,” said Schaerdel, who just returned from a trip to Uganda where she met with staff and the children who lives have been changed by the efforts of so many people.
Schaerdel said that from start to finish the process of making a pair of shoes cost $10.
Kaylyn Kirkpatrick, Copperas Cove High School’s senior class president, said that a few years ago while at camp, she along with other campers participated in the Sole Hope project.
Kaylyn was moved by the process, and thought it would be a great idea if she as well as her senior classmates could get involved. The senior class loved the idea and jumped on it as soon as Kaylyn pitched the idea to them. The senior class made Sole Hope their community service project.
Along with her class officers, other students have been collecting old worn denim jeans since August and have obtained more than 800 pairs.
The CCHS Senior Class contacted the Sole Hope national organization to create this event, and invited all of the clubs at the high school as well as many other community organizations in and around Copperas Cove.
With the help of Schaerdel and many CCISD staff and students, Saturday’s shoe cutting party became a reality thanks to the help of many volunteers who showed up to make a difference in the lives of so many children.
Volunteers were treated to refreshments and pizza. At the end of the event, both Schaerdel and Kirkpatrick thanked everyone for their hard work, and Kaylyn said the volunteers had cut enough material to make roughly 900 pairs of shoes.

Copperas Cove Leader Press

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