Pacific Dentist Bill McHugh has collected 15 pairs of used soccer shoes that will go to young Honduran soccer players. He hopes to reach 100 pairs.
If he is successful that will be one-tenth of the number of pairs of soccer shoes the Washington Overseas Mission has pledged to collect.
The project is one of the latest campaigns of the doctors and dentists who have been visiting Honduran villages for 20 years delivering medical needs.
The soccer shoes are the brainchild of Bob Dzurick, who isn’t even a doctor. Dzurick, an insurance salesman and longtime soccer coach and referee, accompanied the Washington Overseas Mission team to Honduras for the first time last year as part of the construction crew.
“Each day as we went to the site where we were building a house for a lady, we passed the soccer field where all these kids were playing in their bare feet or in sandals,” he said. “I was so touched. It was overwhelming. Here these little kids had so little but they were so happy.”
Recalling the prayer that he recites each Sunday at the end of church service, “Lord, what do you want me to do with the gifts you have given me?” Dzurick was determined to do something for the youngsters.
“I’m a salesman,” he said. “I set goals. At first I thought 250 pairs, but that wasn’t enough. I set big goals so I set a big goal.”
When Dzurick pledged to collect 1,000 pairs of used soccer shoes for the Honduran youngsters the other members of the team joined the campaign. At press time, Dzurick had collected 212 pairs and was due to receive an additional 15 pairs in a few days. He is a long way from his goal, but optimistic.
“We have until next March when the Mission returns to Honduras,” he said.
Dr. McHugh has two locations to help reach his personal goal of 100 pairs. He operates an extraction-only dental office in Pacific on Thursdays. His main practice is in Marthasville.
“Soccer is huge in those villages,” said Jan Long, a member of the women’s medical team. “No matter how far out you go kids are out there playing soccer. They don’t even have a soccer ball, they make one by wrapping rags around something.”
Women on the medical team thought the idea could be extended to include bras for village women.
“We do pap exams for these women and treat them for cervical cancer,” Long said. “We see them without adequate foundation garments so we decided to collect used bras for them.”
The overseas mission makes two trips a year, ships six tractor-trailer trucks a year of medical supplies, desks, school supplies, some food, lots of clothing, humanitarian supplies and boats so they can rescue people during floods.
In Pacific items can be dropped off at the office of Dr. Bill McHugh, 107 E. Orleans, in the McHugh-Dailey Building.
In Washington, items can be dropped off at the office of Dr. Jackie Miller, Washington Square Orthodontists, 1015 Washington Square in Washington.