Barefoot Coaching from Good Samaritans
The Samaritan’s Feet project is back for another round of education and donation drives. The cause got a great deal of attention last season when IUPUI head coach Ron Hunter decided to coach one game barefooted in order to help get the Samaritan’s Feet message out. The charitable organization seeks shoe donations in order to provide them to the millions of people who go without. Last season, Hunter’s goal was to raise 40,000 pairs.
He exceeded 100,000.
This season’s efforts are no different, but the goal has increased to 1 million. The organization’s higher goal was no doubt spurred on by Hunter’s impressive results last year. This season, Hunter is sending his message to a lot of coaches in America, and is getting great results too:
One of the coaches who heeded the call was Matt Brown of Summit League foe Missouri-Kansas City, who will expose his toes during his team’s Jan. 17 game against North Dakota State. Fans who bring a pair of new shoes to the game will receive a pair of lower-level seats.
“I read a lot about Samaritan’s Feet after what Ron did last winter,” said Brown. “I have a very young family, we have six kids. I can’t imagine the idea that there are families in the world that can’t afford shoes for their children. I wanted to help however I could.”
And the offers of assistance aren’t just coming from the basketball community. The Jaguars’ bench boss receives e-mails from representatives from other sporting communities hoping to help.
“I’ve heard from people involved in soccer, football, hockey,” said Hunter, ticking off sports with his fingers. “Here’s the really crazy part … everyone has different twists they want to add. I heard from a swim team that wants to put their shoes on for a meet! I’m telling you, this whole year has been really unbelievable and overwhelming.”
If you’d like to participate in this year’s drive, there are number of ways you can do so. Cash donations are certainly accepted and you can drop shoes–new ones only, please–for donation off at any of the following places. Unfortunately, there are only handful of drop-off centers. However, because the call is for new shoes only–due to international regulations and health guidelines–cash donations are fantastic substitute.
You can also volunteer your time because with all the donations they are getting, the logistics of distributing the shoes gets more and more difficult. If you’d like to volunteer, you can find out more by calling, 866.833.SHOE.