Sole Hope Shoe Cutting Party (first of many!)

After hearing about Sole Hope and reading about Nat @ Take the Cannoli’s Shoe Cutting Party, I immediately knew I wanted to get involved. I’m honored and humbled to be a Sole Hope Ambassador, spreading the news about the need, the cause, and how we can help. One way to help? Host a Sole Hope Shoe Cutting Party. Every pair of shoes you cut is sewn into a pair of shoes for a child to protect their feet from jiggers. Every pair provides a job and income to someone in need who was trained to sew the shoes. Every pair changes lives.

To prep for the party, I went on a hunt for fabric. My mom offered up everything in her fabric chest. So generous!

As an aside, I uncovered some gems! Yes, these are vintage late 70s/early 80s patterns. I had some awesome homemade clothes.

The day before the party, I traced the shoe patterns onto cardboard for templates, and traced a few patterns onto denim and fabric to help get us started.

But shoes are not created on their own. I am blessed with some amazing friends who came ready and willing to help. We all have young kids. The thought that there are children who are suffering from jigger infestations because they do not have shoes, touched all of us.

And we traced. And we talked. And we cut. And we laughed. And we safety pinned. And traced. And we ate. And cut some more.

Sometimes you have to switch from cutting fabric to cutting your friend’s hair. See? It’s fun to sit around with friends, chat, laugh, all while cutting shoe patterns and giving back.

7 friends. Nearly 3 hours. 17 pairs of shoes cut! My heart is overflowing with joy. 17 children will have shoes!

May the children whose feet these shoes will cover be blessed.

May they know how much they are loved.

May the hearts and lives of those sewing the shoes be transformed.

Want to help send these shoes to Africa? Donate to Sole Hope here.

Want to host a Sole Hope Shoe Cutting Party? Order a shoe party packet here and for more info email Ashley at

Live in the Boston area and want to have a Shoe Cutting Party? I’d love to help you out! Seriously. I would love to help you host, answer questions, whatever you need. You don’t need to have a huge group to make a difference. Email me at

Shoe cutting parties for Sole Hope – organize one today!

Who knew God could speak to me through Twitter. No, it didn’t read: @letsgivetoday check out @solehope, love God #seriously,listentomethistime.

It was in the form of a tweet from a friend of a friend about a shoe cutting party for Sole Hope. A what? Literally, a party where you cut fabric for shoes for women in Africa to sew for children. My heart melted and I knew organizing one of these parties was in my near future. Want to see what one looks like? Check out Take the Cannoli‘s shoe cutting party!

What is Sole Hope?  Why cut shoe patterns and teach others to sew those patterns for children in Africa?

Along the way, we realized we could not only help African children, but we could help African men and women by teaching them a simple trade—how to make shoes. And so we began. Then we realized we could teach others—homeless, unemployed, recovering addicts, and nonprofits—how to make shoes, so they could earn a decent living and raise funds for their causes. So Sole Hope is touching lives in the U.S. and Africa, and we’re only getting started!

What can you do to help?

Organize a shoe cutting party! Email for more details on hosting and organizing a party.

Gather materials to help with Sole Hope’s Foot Washing and Jigger Removal efforts. They need:

  • Bar Soap
  • Sharpies
  • Large Safety Pins
  • Surgical Gloves
  • Cotton Balls
  • Medical Razor Blades
  • Medical Tape
  • Antibiotic Cream
  • Gauze
  • Band Aids

Mail them to: Sole Hope, PO Box, 1492, Asheville, NC 28802

Honestly, how much do Cotton Balls or Sharpies or Band Aids cost? This is a low-cost, little effort, but very thoughtful way you can show love to and make a change in the lives of many.

Pillowcase dresses: Philanthropy + service + sewing!

I had the joy of meeting Maggie Holly last night at Sew Easy, where a number of volunteers gathered to help create pillowcase dresses. Her story is so inspiring.

Holly, who had learned how to sew at Needham store Sew Easy at age 6, decided to go on the [Dominican Republic Medical Mission] trip, and started making pillowcase dresses to bring to the Dominican children. Soon the Sew Easy staff got involved. The project that emerged combines philanthropy and community bonding with crafts, harkening back to the bygone days of the sewing circle. Sew Easy staff members helped Holly make pillowcase dresses in advance of her trip—she went from June 16 until June 23—and are planning a weekly volunteer night starting in July when Needham residents can stop by Sew Easy and help make the pillowcase dresses for future trips to the Dominican Republic.

Read more: Sew Easy in Needham helps with charity project – Needham Times

The pillowcase dresses are not only affordable and easy to make, but they are perfect for the recipient because they can first be worn as a dress, and then turn into a shirt as they grow. And get this – not only did she find a store in Maine where she could negotiate the price and purchase in mass amounts. But she also asked a local dental practice to donate toothbrushes. And she also knit dolls to give to the girls. Amazing!

The Pillowcase Dress. What a perfect gift: it fulfills a need (not just a want), it is thoughtful, and of course, it is absolutely adorable!

Cutting the pillowcases. Every bit of fabric was used. And by the way, when I think of pillowcases, I imagine something bland. But Maggie found the cutest fabrics for the girls’ dresses!

Click the image below to read Maggie’s description of her Dominican Republic Medical Missions trip.

So what can you do?

Email me ( and I’ll get you in touch with Maggie to see how you can donate money, supplies, etc.

Make a pillowcase dress for Maggie to distribute on her next medical missions trip to the Dominican Republic (she has a pattern to use for consistency).

Want to make it fun? Invite friends over to help make the dresses, giving each a different step as a job. Wine helps.

Know of another missions trip to an area of need? Contact them to see if these pillowcase dresses would be helpful as well as what other supplies they need.

Do you live in the Boston area? Volunteer to help make pillowcase dresses at Sew Easy in Needham. Contact them to find out the date and time.