Photo: Young Living executives (left to right) Kelly Case, Chief of Staff; Jared Turner, Chief Operating Officer; and Janay Standifird, Chief Financial Officer.
Shoes might seem outside the purview of an essential oils company, but Young Living Essential Oils recently mobilized employees and members to help assemble more than 2,000 pairs in three days.
The shoes will be distributed to impoverished communities in Uganda through Sole Hope, a nonprofit that helps individuals infected by jiggers, a debilitating parasitic insect, and other common foot-related diseases. Within these communities, a lack of understanding about jiggers often leads to children being ostracized and outcast without necessary treatment, according to Nikki Davis, Senior Director of Young Living Global Philanthropy and Executive Director of the D. Gary Young, Young Living Foundation.
Sole Hope is working toward sustainable change by holding medical clinics and providing education and jobs. One of the organization’s primary initiatives is supplying closed-toe shoes to protect children’s feet, and to do so on a large scale it enlists supporters to cut up old denim jeans, using a simple pattern that serves as the basis of each shoe. Over a three-day period, Young Living employees and members did just that, hosting a “Worldwide Shoe Cutting Party” with more than 20,000 participants, including nearly 2,000 corporate employees in Utah.
Young Living’s ongoing support of Sole Hope, one of its primary charitable partners, has included raising awareness and organizing service trips to Uganda for its members to participate in efforts on the ground. The company also has pledged $350,000 to fund a new Sole Hope Outreach House, where those with complicated or life-threatening jigger cases can receive treatment.
“We are grateful for the overwhelming support from Young Living and its members,” said Dru Collie, Sole Hope Executive Director. “The foundation’s efforts have enabled us to change lives by providing hope and treatment to hundreds of individuals every week.”