Members of Meath and Kildare diocese are discovering that walking their dogs can be a way of looking after the feet of those with leprosy. The Church of Ireland diocese is running Good For The Paws during Advent (29 Nov until Christmas Day). Members are encouraged to put €2 in a savings tin every time they take their dog for a walk.
The money will go towards their diocesan Good For The Soul project. Something as simple as a pair of sandals can help protect families from poverty and despair. The diocese aims to buy 10,000 pairs of sandals in Karigiri in Tamil Nadu, India. The diocesan project, in partnership with The Leprosy Mission Ireland and Bishops’ Appeal.
One of the effects of leprosy is often damage to a person’s feet. The disease causes them to loose sensitivity in this area, making the individual more prone to injury. The Leprosy Mission has been involved in developing a cost-effective sandal that can protect the wearer from such harm. One pair of sandals can be manufactured and distributed at a cost of €2.50.
Potentially every dog lover could have €54 to add to our Good For The Sole project. If this was replicated throughout the Dioceses, with every dog owner, it would be a significant step towards reaching the diocesan target of €25,000 by Easter 2016.
Bishop Pat Storey is a dog lover herself. She says, “Its not just feet that Meath and Kildare are working together to protect. Sandals can protect whole families from poverty – that is why we are doing this. Even if you are not a dog-lover why not sponsor one of your friends to walk their dogs. After all, its good for more than just the paws!”