By Heather Lopez
A.F.O.s or ankle foot orthotics are a device used to help our baby bare weight in a standing position. They are made from custom molds of her feet. After about 3-6 months, or when a child would typically outgrow a pair of shoes, they become useless and a new pair of afo’s must be molded and fitted to the child. When picking up our baby’s very first pair of afo’s among the many questions we asked was “what do we do with these when they are outgrown”?
“Keep them, throw them away or you can donate them to our program in Africa.” Was the answer.
A sweet friend, Stephanie Bys, who works with “About Face Missions” at Mercy Home in Kenya quickly came to my mind. A physical therapy program has just been started and I knew in my heart I needed to reach out to her and see if there was a need. She sent me a few pictures of what they were given from the village hospital, that have been identified by an orthotists as what was available in the 1960’s here and have sense been banned in the United States as abusive footwear.
A Facebook post was made with permission showing the current equipment they have access to and my own excitement to send our equipment when it is outgrown. (Probably around the time when the boarders start to open for international mail)
Within 3 minutes someone sent a private message offering her company to make a custom wheelchair for a child at Mercy Home. After one hour 13 families agreed to send over 25 pairs of outgrown orthotics and equipment. All donations are being sent to my friend's Garland Texas address to be packed and shipped as soon as possible. During this pandemic it has been easy for many to feel lost in the isolation, but God is still moving mountains. His people are letting His light shine through as the Holy Spirit motivates generosity in the world around us.”