PHS Student Organizes Shoe Drive for African Villiage

Every “SOLE” Worth Saving - By Rachelle Whatcott

By: Rachelle Whatcott
This year I had the chance to run for Miss Payson. I decided to choose helping out a third world country as my platform and my catch phrase, “Every SOLE worth saving”. So I’m putting on a shoe drive to help the people in Ethiopia. About three years ago my parents made it possible for my whole family to go back to Ethiopia and visit where we came from. One thing I noticed was that no one had shoes and they would be running on sharp rocks and hard surfaces and it made me feel bad. I thought to myself, one day I want to help out over there. So I was given the perfect chance this year as a contestant for Miss Payson to help out. The shoe drive is going to last longer than the Miss Payson competition it’s going to go clear into the month of April 2010.
I was born in Ethiopia, Africa where my family had nothing. My father died when I was really young so my mother was left to care for six kids. She had no job and Ethiopia being as poor as it is didn’t offer any jobs either. Sometimes we go without food for days, and my mom would send us kids out to beg for food hoping to get at least a corn kernel or any little thing we could get. We usually came home empty handed and would have to go to sleep on an empty stomach. We were all really malnourished (yes we were one of those kids with the bloated out bellies). One day a pink man (what we called white people) came and took a picture of my sister Briana and I while we were in the village. We had no idea what he was doing, but we later found out that he was taking our picture to give to our would be adopted parents in America.
                My African mom started feeling really sick and realized she would soon die so she took my sister Briana and I to the orphanage some distance away from our village and dropped us off there, we didn’t know why she was leaving us we were so sad but we later realized she was just saving our lives. A few months later Weston and Sandra Whatcott from Provo, Utah came to the orphanage and picked up my sister and I and three other kids from the same orphanage and flew us over to America I was scared not ever being in a plane before and being taken away from my family and home.  My adopted parents had already adopted another boy from India so I now had two new sisters and two new brothers. We found out a few years later that my mom along with a younger sibling of mine had passed away. I was really sad but thankful for my mom that she was unselfish enough to help provide me with a better life.
Thirteen years later, my life couldn’t be better. Being raised in America I realize I have been blessed with so much in my life.  I’m loving life, doing well in school and trying to prepare for college. And help out Ethiopia. Going back to the shoe drive, I have already received some shoes and would like to thank those who have contributed. If you would like to donate some shoes they need to be in new or gently used condition and no high heels, any size is fine. Just drop them off at my house or I could come pick them up. Just like the quote,” to whom much is given much is required”, I feel I should give back and do my part. If you’re interested in helping out just contact me for location to drop off the shoes.