ASHLAND, Ky. — The blessings of a generous northeastern Kentucky community are going to be spilling into Moyo, Uganda in two months when Amy For Africa takes 26,000 shoes into the impoverished area.
The nonprofit organization reached its goal of raising $52,000 to pay for shipping of the 26,000 Skechers shoes that were given to them through Samaritan’s Feet in December.
Samaritan’s Feet CEO Manny Ohonme presented the shoe offer to AFA board members Mark and Beth Maynard and Amy and Chris Compston at a meeting last November.
He told Amy Compston in December that the shoes would be shipped in May — about a year sooner than AFA anticipated.
But the organization didn’t blink.
“There was a peace among of all us, so we said ‘Yes!’’’ Amy said. “None of us ever doubted the money was going to come. We said we were going to watch God amaze us and wow has He ever.”
An aggressive fundraising campaign that included donations from individuals, foundations, civic clubs, schools, youth groups, churches added up to AFA raising the necessary funds in 90 days.
The first deadline of $10,000 was due at the end of January.
“We had $10,000 in the first 10 days and had $36,000 by the end of January,” Amy said. “So many people have partnered with us. It’s been something almost daily.”
The money kept coming in consistently throughout the three-month period and culminated when a local beauty salon brought in $5,000 during a 24-hour hair-a-thon.
While the $52,000 for the shoes has been paid in full, the needs remain great, Amy said.
“We still have work to do and a lot of expenses,” she said.
The 11-member team will be going to Moyo from May 17 to June 2. Plane tickets have already been purchased by individuals, who are getting the needed vaccines before traveling.
None of the funds raised in anything that Amy For Africa is involved is used for anything but the mission work including plane tickerts, vaccines or salary.
“We pay our own way,” Amy said. “Our needs are few. Their needs are great. One hundred percent of what people give goes back to the mission.”
Once on the ground, AFA will be paying 66 Africans around 5,000 shillings a day ($2.50) to work with the mission in the shoe distribution.
Some of them are preachers who will conduct serv ices before each shoe distribution.
The 11-member team will be going to eight different locations, all at least an hour a way. Gasoline in Moyo is selling for $8.50.
Water, basins, chairs, traps, soap and towels, food, 120 cases of bottled water to drink and even a sound system must be purchased.
The $1,500 sound system will be for the preaching service and for music to help direct the natives to the spot where the shoes are going to be distributed.
Total estimated cost for the shoe distribution is around $10,500, according to Dr. Floyd Paris, the missionary on the ground in Moyo who is directing this God-sized project in Moyo.
“These African preachers are going to preach to thousands every day,” Amy said. “It could be a revival like that place has never seen! We are going to introduce Moyo to Jesus!”