A Baby Named Hope and 2,500 Pairs of Shoes


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In January 2017, five Slippery Rock students, including Madison Roxbury, who is a junior Integrated Marketing Communications and Nonprofit Management dual major, traveled 7,652 miles with Dr. Alice Del Vecchio to Hekima Place in Kenya. Hekima Place is an orphanage in Kiserian, Kenya that houses approximately 90 girls whose parents either couldn’t take care of them or passed away. Forty-five of the older girls are away at boarding school and the younger forty-five girls are on site, ten of whom are in preschool at Hekima Place. Amidst working on projects and helping the girls with homework, Dr. Del Vecchio and her students met Baby Hope— only a few months old at the time and was the only child in the Hekima Place without a sponsorship. Therefore, Dr. Del Vecchio, Roxbury, and the other members of the Student Nonprofit Alliance organization on campus, SNA, agreed to sponsor Hope for $750 per year. Looking back on two weeks abroad, Roxbury shared, “The orphanage was one of the best experiences I have ever had! To be able to provide Baby Hope with basic life needs and education is one of the best feelings, and I can’t wait to see how it impacts her life.”

As Baby Hope celebrated her first birthday in mid-September, SNA reached out to the Slippery Rock University community in order to raise money for the sponsorship so that it could have a hand in impacting Hope’s life, too. With a huge Birthday Bash in the quad, SNA set a goal of collecting 2,500 pairs of shoes as music played and birthday cake was eaten. That day, SNA collected 1,625 pairs of shoes, and today, they need less than 500 more pairs to reach their goal. These shoes will be going towards Funds2Orgs a for-profit company, who will give SNA 40 cents per pound of shoes donated. The shoes will then be sent to the company headquarters in Orlando, Florida before going to developing countries. What Dr. Del Vecchio likes most about Funds2Orgs is that “the shoes are repurposed, don’t end up in a landfill in the US, enable a person to earn a living for his/her family, and then another person is able to buy a good pair of shoes at an affordable price, who otherwise might not have shoes.” If you have any new or gently used shoes and would like to donate, please reach out to alice.delvecchio@sru.edu!

In addition to collecting shoes, SNA continues to collect monetary donations and has been asked to bring additional supplies with them during this winter break’s trip back to Hekima Place. Dr. Del Vecchio will again depart for a two week long trip in January 2018 with four students, and together, the Care Break Kenya group will donate funds from project Raise the Rock which will begin in mid-November, in order to help secure funds to give to Hekima Place in support of their work and bring the following supplies: low-priced wristwatches (as the older girls need them for school), “Sunday” dresses for children ages 3-13, school supplies, craft supplies, vitamins, storybooks with girl heroes (especially people of color), and nail polish. To find out more about Hekima Place or sponsoring a child yourself, follow this link https://www.hekimaplace.org/.

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