Making a Difference, One Pair of Shoes at a Time

In an area of Africa where thousands are without shoes and foot disease runs rampant, Coach Ron Hunter of the Georgia State University men’s basketball team aims to provide a pair of shoes to everyone he can.

Arriving back from his sixth trip abroad Aug. 9 with the humanitarian nonprofit Samaritan’s Feet International, Mr. Hunter and the team returned satisfied knowing they helped wash the feet of thousands of disadvantaged children and provide them with shoes in Paarl, South Africa.

Overall, the expedition helped distribute more than 85,000 pairs of shoes over a weeklong excursion with the founder of the humanitarian organization, Manny Ohonme, according to Mike Holmes, associate sports communications director at Georgia State.

Mr. Ohone created the Christian-inspired nonprofit following his experiences growing up in Nigeria without shoes.

The trip marks only the second time the coach has traveled abroad with his team on behalf of the organization and the first time since he took on the role of head coach last year since moving from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

“I feel very blessed and humbled to be working with an organization like Samaritan’s Feet,” Mr. Hunter said in a release. “To be able to bring my staff and equally important my players will make it a unique trip for all involved.”

Mr. Hunter is well known both at Georgia State and IUPUI for his support of the organization, playing at least one full game each year without his shoes to raise awareness for the millions of children exposed to diseases because they cannot afford a pair of shoes.

Last season, the coach took off his shoes for a game held over the holiday weekend honoring Martin Luther King Jr., whom Hunter has said he views as a role model, in hopes of raising $250,000 to donate to Samaritan’s Feet.

The university has maintained a running blog post of the team’s 10-day trip on its athletic website.

To view that post and additional photos, click here.


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