Children’s Color Run raises money for organization to help foot illness in Uganda

Published: Oct. 16, 2021 at 3:24 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Colors of yellow, blue, and pink soared through the air to celebrate the children running in Saturday’s race at Ellen Trout Zoo. Southside Baptist Church partnered with Zavalla First Baptist church to host the Sole Hope Color Run.

Children running in Saturday’s event took pride as their feet hit the pavement because they recognized with gratitude how lucky they are to own just a simple pair of sneakers.

Dawn Curry, the children’s minister at Southside Baptist Church, has been to the Sole Hope headquarters in Uganda twice. There she attended jigger clinics. Jiggers are small parasitic fleas that usually enter their victims through their feet, causing parts of the body to rot.

“Sole hope has been something that we’ve been supporting for a long time. This organization is an awesome organization. They help children with foot-related illnesses in Africa, Uganda, Africa to be specific,” Curry said.

Saturday’s color run celebrated the beauty of a healthy body and raised funds for Sole Hope. 12-year-old Eli Smith said he ran knowing how important the cause is.

“We’re going to go get shoes for people in Africa that don’t have money to get shoes because there are jiggers that go in the little kids’ feet, and then they have to dig them out and it’s very painful and this money can help,” Smith said.

Curry said she made the event a children’s run because she wants kids to recognize that not every child has t10 pairs of shoes in their closet.

“Jiggers bury themselves into the feet of the children and they can’t walk. They can’t even go to school because there is a stigma attached to it,” Curry said.

Curry said the event raised approximately $4,000 to $5,000 dollars.

“I just want children from different places who aren’t fortunate to be somewhat fortunate and have a better life than they do right now, so this is a good way to get out in your community and do it,” Smith said.

The jigger parasite impacts thousands of Ugandans yearly, and Sole Hope has provided about 11,000 pairs of close-toed shoes per year. The shoes help to prevent jigger infestation.

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