More than 1,600 pairs of shoes collected in Ballard County sent - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

More than 1,600 pairs of shoes collected in Ballard County sent to Uganda

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Members of the Bethlehem Baptist Church mission team at the source of the Nile River in Jinga, Uganda. (Source: Ballard County Schools) Members of the Bethlehem Baptist Church mission team at the source of the Nile River in Jinga, Uganda. (Source: Ballard County Schools)
Villagers in Kimuli, Uganda, help school children find donated shoes that will help protect them from the “jiggers.” (Source: Ballard County Schools) Villagers in Kimuli, Uganda, help school children find donated shoes that will help protect them from the “jiggers.” (Source: Ballard County Schools)
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BALLARD COUNTY, KY (KFVS) -

Shoes collected by Ballard Memorial students have been sent to Uganda to help protect the people from a painful parasite.

Ballard Memorial High School's Future Business Leaders of America students collected 1,600 pairs of shoes last winter.

Holly Adams' sixth-grade classes at Ballard County Middle School helped collect 531 pairs of shoes.

Another 300 pairs came from Ballard County Elementary. Some church groups also donated shoes.

Many students brought in shoes from home, grandparents, and other relatives.

Members of a mission team from Bethlehem Baptist Church took 250 lbs. of the shoes with them in five 50-lb. bags this spring to Kimuli.

The shoes will help protect people against a painful and dangerous parasite, the chigoe flea, known as "jiggers" in Africa. More pairs of shoes will follow in the summer.

FBLA students tied the shoes in pairs, and loaded them into 32 large black plastic leaf-and-lawn bags.

In addition to the group of five people from the Carlisle County church, a group of six from Alabama also went on the February mission, which included three dental hygienists. They did dental screenings and research during the day. The church group did women's and men's discipleship teaching during the afternoons, and revival services at night.

The school in Kimuli where they stayed had 350 students in seven classrooms when they arrived, according to Austin Hayes, the son of one of the organizers. By the time they left, there were 540 students enrolled. The groups are in conversation with church officials who helped arrange the visit to determine future involvement at the site and future visits.

The group also visited the source of the Nile in Jinga, Uganda, where Lake Victoria feeds the great river.

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