SFSA is the Do It For Others Project by We Are THAT Family this month…Woot!

Hi guys and gals! I’m so excited to share some awesome news with you! Kristen of We Are THAT Family has chosen to make a shoe drive for Samaritan’s Feet South Africa the Back to School Do It For Others Project this month. She will be collecting new shoes back in the beautiful big state of Texas that will bless the feet of children and adults here in sub-Saharan Africa!

By the way, did you know South Africa is roughly twice the size of Texas? That’s a lot of feet!

Even though we were blessed with a big shipment of shoes from our parent organization Stateside to help with our World Cup initiative, we are already close to diminishing our supply of children’s shoes for Shoes of Hope distributions at local schools and churches in the weeks and months ahead. If you, dear friends and readers, have wanted to do something to get involved with the work of Samaritan’s Feet South Africa, this is an awesome opportunity. You can head over to We are THAT Family to find out more. And if you can’t send shoes, you can also find out how to make a donation that will make a difference!

In case you haven’t heard the story, the founder of Samaritan’s Feet is a testimony to the fact that a pair of shoes can change a life. (You can read his story here.)

We can’t wait to see how many lives will be changed by the generosity of you and the readers at We Are THAT Family!

Thank you, Kristen, for taking the initiative to help make a difference in the lives of kids in need in this part of the world. To a lot of those who give, it will just mean giving a pair of shoes. To the kids who receive these shoes, it sometimes means the world!

And an especially big thank you to everyone who gives!


P.S. If you’re new to carolinecollie.com and would like to see more photos from Shoes of Hope distributions, or find out what a distribution is like, choose the category “Shoe Stories” from the drop-down box in the right hand column or click here.

What 15,000 Pairs of Shoes Looks Like

A few weeks ago, Hero Hubs spent a long and lunchless day in a sugar warehouse. Working through extreme tiredness, a busy and slightly stressful season, and a nice wee bout of Bronchitis, he was sorting shoes for Samaritan’s Feet South Africa’s Shoes of Hope distributions, which would be happening during the World Cup.

The other day, one of you asked what 15,000 pairs of shoes looks like. And it’s a little like this:

Or like this…

Mayhaps it’s more like this…

(Fortunately there were guys with forklifts around to take the top pallets off the bottom ones.)

Once you start digging in, it’s a bit like this:

And since this is the warehouse where most of the sugar in the Western Cape is stored, the floor is sticky and you can’t put a single pair of shoes onto the floor while you’re organizing. Hero Hubs did an amazing job. Maybe we should create a Facebook fan page for him or something.

Some of the distributions he was organizing shoes for were taking place in partnership with YWAM Rustenberg. The team there hosted some wonderfully successful Shoes of Hope distributions, and they created some great videos to document their efforts and share the joy with us.

So the good news is, a few thousand pairs of shoes also looks like this:

It also looks like this:

And this:

And thanks to the team at YWAM Rustenberg (and Hero Hub’s work behind the scenes) a few thousand pairs of shoes looks like this, too:

And that sure does make the bronchitis-ridden, slightly-rushed work behind the scenes completely worthwhile.

But I still think you should give HH a high-five and a big pat on the back next time you see him. 😉


In Honour of Madiba, on Nelson Mandela Day

There are few people that inspire me to tears like Nelson Mandela. Long before my feet called the red dirt of South Africa home, my heart had deep respect and admiration for this most famous South African. A legend in his own time, Madiba took the long walk to freedom and showed the world how forgiveness is lived, how truth and reconciliation are chosen and embodied. He has walked paths of peace, when most would feel entitled to wage war. And that our world is celebrating and honouring such a figure, such an example, has a world of meaning to me. He is indeed a hero worth celebrating.

Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 in Transkei, South Africa. “Madiba” is the name of the Xhosa Tribe from which Mandela comes, and it is considered an honour to refer to someone by the name of their tribe. After spending 27 years in prison under the Apartheid government in South Africa, Madiba emerged to reconcile with the very people group that oppressed him all those years. He led the nation to a peaceful resolution as the era of formal segregation in South Africa finally came to an end.

In 1993, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and in 1994 he was elected the first president of a new, democratic South Africa. The eyes of the world watched and waited for hostility and violence in those days, but they were surprised by a demonstration of peace. His work to reconcile a nation fraught with such a challenging past pointed the new South Africa toward a bright and glorious future. The 2010 FIFA World Cup has shone a light on the vibrant, new South Africa, and we hope the world has taken notice. Madiba is a man of faith and a man of character, and I hope that I’m one of the millions who are overjoyed that the world will be considering him, every July 18th, hopefully for generations to come.

On a visit to London in 2008, Mandela said:

“Where there is poverty and sickness, where human beings are oppressed, there is work to be done. Our work is for freedom for all. After 90 years of life, it is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now.”


Samaritan’s Feet South Africa has dedicated its two most recent shoe distributions to the honour of Madiba on Mandela Day. We hope that by sharing photos that demonstrate the difference something as simple as a pair of shoes can make, we will inspire others, in the spirit of Madiba, and for the glory of God, to take the 67 minute challenge, and do something to make a difference in the lives of others.

We know that one man has the power to change the world. The question is: Will you accept the challenge to change yours?

Our “Mandela Day” photos will be posted in the News at Samaritan’s Feet South Africa. (www.samaritansfeetsa.com) But of course, I’ll give you a few highlights here, too!

Proudly South African.

The hardest part of every Shoes of Hope distribution…the demand always exceeds the supply.

A very good improvement for winter in South Africa…

This precious little girl arrived in a pair of mismatched, oversized flip flops.

Click over to Samaritan’s Feet South Africa to see how she departed!

May you find inspiration today, to make a difference in the world around you.


Travelling Tuesday: Our First World Cup Distribution

Do you remember that scene in Elf where Will Ferrell runs into the conference room and bursts out with the exclamation: “I’m in love, I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it!”? Okay, maybe not, but if you can picture it, that’s how enthusiastic I feel about sharing with you that the World Cup Distributions got off the ground last week. Shoes cleared Customs. Shoes were unpacked (some of ’em though, not all of ’em.) Lots of little faces lit up and lots of feet received some much needed protection. Don’t forget, it is winter here! I can’t believe all the bare feet I’m seeing in winter!

I’ll be creating an album with lots of captions and more pics on Samaritan’s Feet South Africa’s Facebook Fan page, so be on the lookout right here. And go “like” us if you haven’t already! Uh, you like us, right?

In the meantime, here are some highlights from the beginning of an exciting time for us … on one special, chilly, lovely day outside Cape Town.

I have to mention here that this little girl was THRILLED when she discovered that her brand new shoes LIGHT UP!

I had some great conversations with some of the regular staff who see these children a few times a week. I was reminded that even though some of these kids had some semblance of a pair of shoes before, for many of them this might be the first new thing they’ve ever been given. For the staff workers these distributions present an opportunity to get to know the kids better one on one. One staff member shared with me that she overheard two little boys taking another aside and saying “Do not let your mother take your shoes!” She was glad to have overheard this, to be able to keep an eye on the boy and remember this during future home visits.

It’s hard to not know what the future holds for these kids (that thought continually struck me during this distribution), but we keep praying that the seeds that are planted — of hope, of faith, of belief that better things are still to come — will grow in these little hearts and multiply a hundredfold.

Hope your week is off to a great start. From my tugged and stretched heart to yours, Happy Tuesday.


Be a Part of the 2010 World Cup

The teams have touched down, the fans are arriving, the streets are full of flags and side view mirror covers, jerseys and soccer balls, and the opening ceremonies are a few hours away! South Africa is ablaze with the excitement of the first World Cup to ever take place on the continent of Africa, and we’re excited too!

While the eyes of the world will be focused on soccer stadiums and cheering crowds, some great things are happening in SA that may not be in the forefront of everyone’s mind. Ministries around the country are taking this opportunity to run programs for kids who’ll be out of school for the month, they’re hosting big screen events for people who might not otherwise get to watch the games, and they’re endeavouring to just bless people in need the best way they know how.

Samaritan’s Feet South Africa is a part of that crowd: cheering on Africa in the belief that the kindness we show to one another can make a difference that will still be ringing out long after the stadiums are empty and the teams have gone home. We’re hoping to give away 5,000 pairs of shoes to children and adults around the country during the World Cup. We do this in partnership with other ministries, like YWAM and Living Hope. Together we’re hosting distributions where we TEACH a message of hope, we TOUCH each person by washing their feet, and we TREAT those clean feet to a new pair of socks and shoes.

Samaritan’s Feet SA will personally be delivering shoes to different parts of the country, arranging the storage of shoes we’ve been blessed with by our parent organization Stateside, and lots more. We could use your help to make these endeavours possible!

Would you like to be a part of the good stuff that’s happening during the World Cup in SA?

Click here to visit Samaritan’s Feet South Africa’s site and find out more.


Click here to go ahead and give to help make a difference!

Thank you for your support! It makes a whole lot of this possible: