Hilliard-area family spends summer vacation in Uganda

(Courtesy: Becky Kent)

They've been collecting jeans for months.

The Kent Family has been cutting through the denim from their home near Hilliard, preparing to send the material to Uganda where it will then be made into a shoe. That was the easy part.

The hard part was seeing how great the need is.

"It was the most incredible experience," said Becky Kent. "You get off the airplane, and you feel the country breathe."

Becky, her husband, Jason, and two sons, Conrad, 17, and Rylan, 12, just returned from a two-week trip to the East African country.

"All of these kids are so excited to see you," she said with tears in her eyes. "They are just so joyful and so happy."

Becky is part of the group, Sole Hope, an organization that makes shoes for children in Uganda. The number of children in poverty is staggering, Becky told WSYX/WTTE.

Sand fleas, also called jiggers, are prominent and spread rapidly. The parasitic insects burrow into the feet of anyone without shoes, she said. Becky watched as the sand fleas were scraped from the feet of children.

"They are sitting there, and someone is taking a razor blade, and it looks horrific," she said. "The kids just sit there with this blank look on their face. It's hard to watch."

This wasn't Becky's first trip to Uganda and it won't be her last.

"You get there and you feel, like, this is where I'm supposed to be."

Instead of collecting jeans, Becky is now focused on raising donations to get the supplies they currently have sent over to teams already on the ground in Uganda.

You can connect with Sole Hope here.