Friday, September 18, 2009

St Louis Residents Receive a Special Gift from Sseko Designs

Last weekend, Liz Bohannon, owner of Sseko Designs, a not-just-for-profit business out of Uganda that offers customers fashionable sandals, joined Mercy Ministries’ Community Relations Manager, Julianne Fogt, for a Sseko party to benefit both Ugandan’ women and our Mercy girls in St. Louis. Terri Stipanovich, wife of former NBA player, Steve Stipanovich also joined the effort by hosting the event. Julianne shared the Mercy vision and party-goers were given the chance to purchase the Sseko sandals for themselves and also for a Mercy resident! Liz and Terri were involved in a Bible study together over the summer that examined the book of James, and they both felt that God was calling them to find ways to show their faith in action.

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Hostess Terri Stipanovich cut out shoe shapes from scrapbook paper, put a resident’s name and shoe size on it, and then hung these from a string on the mantel. The guests could choose a girl, buy her a pair of shoes, write a personal note of encouragement on the back and then clip a check to the paper to show that girl was accounted for. Out of concern that every girl received a pair of shoes, Liz had already offered to donate sandals for each young lady, but halfway through the evening, ALL the girls had checks clipped to their shoe cut-outs!

The next morning, Liz, Terri and co-host, Nicole Nowotny, joined the St. Louis residents for breakfast and distributed their beautiful gifts and encouraging notes. Here is what a few of the residents had to say in response to this special gift:

Katie said, “I loved Liz. She has such a dear heart. The shoes are amazing, and I can’t wait to show them to my family and friends! What a great cause!”

Brye said, “I was blown away that people would buy these shoes for me and that someone in Africa would take the time to make them for me!”

To learn more about Sseko Designs check out their website at