Free Shoes Inspiring Hope

(Memphis) Every kid deserves a new pair of shoes, but not every parent can afford them.

Friday, some Memphis parents got some help from a non-profit called Samaritan’s Feet.

Organizers say they gave away about 400 pairs of shoes to kids, who also got a service many never experienced before.

It may seem like a stretch that a pair of shoes could change someone’s life, but Manny Ohonme believes it’s possible, because it happened to him.

“I grew up in Nigeria. I got my first pair of shoes from a missionary when I was 9 years old and it inspired me to dream that I could be anything that I want to be,” said Ohonme, the founder and CEO Samaritan’s Feet.

That moment led him to try and put shoes on the feet of 10 million children in 10 years, children like Carlos Sanders.

“They are very, very ,very great,” the 10-year-old from Frayser said about his new shoes.

“We give them new socks, new shoes and backpacks, full of back to school supplies,” said Jeremy Park, president of Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club.

It’s not just stuff Ohonme’s organization is giving Memphis children just days before school starts, volunteers are giving them much more than that.

“What did you think about today`s event?” asked reporter Sabrina Hall.

“Awesome!” said Sanders.

“Did you get your feet washed? How did that feel?” asked Hall.

“It tickled a little bit,” smiled Sanders.

“For the adults, it shows that ‘We love you. We care. It’s unconditional love,’” said Park.

“Why not show humility in such a way that that it will be an imprint in their heart for the rest of their life?” asked Ohonme.

It’s a moment that goes beyond shoes, inspiring children to journey farther on their two feet.

“They’ll be telling their children’s children that there was somebody who washed my feet and told me I could also do something,” said Ohonme.

Sameritan’s Feet has given out more than five million shoes away since 2003.

If you didn’t get a chance to attend Friday’s event, Samaritan’s Feet says it will be back in Memphis during Martin Luther King Jr. week to make sure children have shoes for Winter.

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