A missions-minded Columbus businessman is hoping some folks in our area will join his footsteps as he leads a fundraiser for some children in Africa. In today's News 3 Neighbors segment, Alfie Jelks isn't asking that you walk a mile in their shoes...just donate some.
Jelks has a heart for helping others. His place of business, Alfie's African Treasures, tells a lot about where his passion is. Alfie recalls, "In 1993 I felt as though God was speaking to me about going to Africa and being a blessing to the children."
Since then Alfie has made three trips to Africa, specifically to a town called Jinja, Uganda. He's headed back there in September and hopes to take a large donation of new and gently used shoes. "We have gotten a lot of support already," says Jelks. "Wal-Mart has donated over 25 large boxes of shoes, and a lot of people are coming in every day dropping off shoes."
Alfie's mission is being sponsored by the non-profit organization he founded called "The Soul of My Footprint." Jelks explains, "When you're doing missionary-type work, there ought to be evidence that you left the place better than you found it. So that's where footprints come into play. We're leaving footprints."
Alfie hopes this trip to Africa will be the most impressionable ever. "In 2007, I took shoes and toothbrushes. What's interesting about this year is we're not only taking shoes, we're not only taking toothbrushes, but we're taking a team of doctors." Local dentist Henry Cook is among those who will be joining Jelks in September.
Jelks says the shoe drive is going well, but there are still opportunities to help. "We have close to one thousand pair of shoes already, and we definitely need help in sending these shoes, these toothbrushes and toothpaste to Africa."
Anyone wishing to make a donation of shoes may drop them off at Alfie's African Treasures which is located in Mission Square above Marco's Pizza off University Avenue. Monetary donations may be mailed to Alfie's African Treasures, 2901 University Avenue, Suite 42, Columbus, GA 31907.
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