Manny Ohnome is the president of “Samaritan’s Feet,” a Charlotte-based humanitarian relief organization he founded to put shoes on the feet of 10 million children around the world in 10 years. Ohnome received his first pair of shoes from a missionary when he was 9 years old. It was in those shoes that Ohnome began playing basketball, setting out on a path that eventually led out of poverty in Nigeria to an athletic scholarship and an education at the University of North Dakota.
To help give other children from impoverished backgrounds a chance at a better life, Ohnome founded Samaritan’s Feet and has so far collected 1 million pairs of children’s shoes. Of those, 46,000 pairs will be distributed to South Carolina children who receive free and reduced price lunches at school.
Bauer has already helped distribute more than 3,000 pairs of shoes in York, Chester, Richland, Lexington, Saluda, Georgetown, Lancaster and Kershaw counties. Another distribution was scheduled for last week in Jasper County and Bauer said he is hoping to bring Samaritan’s Feet to Union County in the near future. He said he is seeking a local group to partner with Samaritan’s Feet to provide the shoes to needy children.
“We are facing challenging economic times here in South Carolina and in our nation as a whole,” he said. “Small gestures and acts of charity can make a difference in a person’s life. I think Manny Ohnome’s story proves this — that is why I am supporting Samaritan’s Feet.”
Bauer pointed out that Samaritan’s Feet is not just about the ministering to the physical needs of a child, it is also opportunity to bring a Christian message that addresses their spiritual needs.
“We wash the children’s feet, put clean socks on their feet and put the shoes on them and we witness to them and share the Bible with them,” he said. “It’s more than just a pair shoes, it’s offering words of encouragement and showing Christian compassion.”
Groups interested in helping distribute Samaritan’s Feet shoes locallly should contact Mark Hendrick at 803-734-1979 or email@example.com. For more information on Samaritan’s Feet, log on at palmettotomorrow.org.