A few years ago Drü and Asher were like many young couples pursuing the American dream. Drü was managing a chain of coffee stores and Asher was building her photography business and taking care of their young children and foster children. Committed, lifelong Christians- Asher’s father was a Navy chaplain and Drü’s parents were involved in overseas mission programs-the Collies have a heart or children in need. They have served as foster parents and were considering adopting an African child when Asher came across a YouTube Video on jiggers and their devastating impact on children.
“At first I tried to close off my heart and prayed that someone else would care enough to do something about this,” she says. But as she read more about this problem half a world away, she knew the Lord had placed a burden on her heart for these children who couldn’t defend themselves against an almost invisible foe. The more she learned online and during trips to Africa, the more she realized the solution was simple: closed toe shoes would protect children’s feet from jiggers. But knowing the answer and creating a solution were two different things. She took the first step, which was creating the pattern that is used at shoe cutting parties all over the world.
Drü supported Asher’s efforts, but wasn’t fully on board until he visited Uganda and saw the problem up close for himself. “The turning point for me was doing my first jigger removal and holding the foot of a child who was the same age as my own,” he says. “Suddenly it made sense that somebody had to do something about this-and we were that somebody.” – Julie A. Martens, life:beautiful magazine
I’m inspired by our Ugandan staff and volunteers who pour themselves wholeheartedly into work that no one else wants to do or even be associated with. They work with a contagious joy and a strong passion for helping others that daily reminds me of how I should approach life and work. – Amy Cates, Shoe Party Specialist
Our employees and their spirit to help one another. I am so inspired by them to continue this work because I see the change and the hope through their eyes! – Holly Teeter, Home Office Manager
Seeing lives changed two feet at a time. Witnessing the a child regaining their childhood. Going from a place of having little hope for the future to being free from jiggers and thriving. Our employees and the compassionate hearts they have for the burdened people of Uganda. – Dru Collie, Executive Director
Making sure the vision of Sole Hope is always expanding is so important to me because through growth in Sole Hope thousands more people will be touched and have a chance at living a jigger free life. I’m also passionate about inspiring others through their surroundings. This is why I love making sure the Sole Hope Guesthouse is homey and comfortable, making sure the Shoemakers and Tailors have a place to work that is inspiring to them and just as inspiring to visitors, and making sure the Outreach House is a refuge for the patients that are brought for care. – Asher Collie, Founder