Samaritan’s Feet will give away shoes

Published 6:03 pm Tuesday, January 16, 2018

By Oniska Blevins | The Selma Times-Journal

Charlotte-based non-profit Samaritan’s Feet will be joining forces with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) for its National Day of Service campaign.

On Jan 17 and 19, during the week of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. national observance, the two non-profits will be serving a total of 500 people in the Montgomery and Selma areas by washing their feet and giving them a new pair of shoes.

Deni Avant, the communication coordinator for Samaritan’s Feet, said the goal of Samaritan’s Feet has always been to let the communities they serve know that they are behind them and are there to serve. This year they received a three-year grant from CNCS to “help fund the events surrounding the MLK holiday.”

“We’re serving 11,000 individuals in January across 14 different states and kind of mobilizing 2,000 volunteers which is what the CNCS is all about, getting people engaged and volunteering. It’s also what Martin Luther King was all about, motivating people to serve others,” Avant said.

Samaritan’s Feet was formed in 2003 by Nigerian immigrant Manny Ohonme, who until he was nine years old did not own a pair of shoes. After winning his first pair of shoes during a basketball game in Nigeria, Ohonme went on to play basketball in America and later started the non-profit.

“He decided to start Samaritan’s Feet because he knew that shoes ultimately changed his life,” Avant said.

“We anticipate that this joyful spirit of doing for others will be contagious and spread far beyond our events in January. We hope that these events inspire a movement of generosity and kindness in our nation in 2018,” CEO and Co-Founder of Samaritan’s Feet Manny Ohonme said.

The service areas are as follows:

Wednesday, Jan. 17: Serving 275 at Dunbar-Ramer School (56 Naftel Ramer Road, Montgomery, AL 36069) from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 17: Serving 57 at Bellingrath Middle School (3350 South Court Street, Montgomery, AL 36105) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 17: Serving 168 at Southlawn Middle School (5333 Mobile Highway, Montgomery, AL 36108) from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 19: Serving 250 at Sophia P. Kingston Elementary School (2224 Selma Ave, Selma, AL 36701) from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Selma Mayor Darrio Melton will attend this event from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Friday, January 19: Serving 250 at Payne Elementary School (1529 Franklin Street, Selma, AL 36703) from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

“This special day of service allows the community to come together, leverage the strength of local citizens, and advance Dr. King’s dream of opportunity for all. Local government officials, civic leaders, and business leaders have been invited to attend and volunteer at their respective city event. For more information on these events, visit SamaritansFeet.org/Together,” Avant said.