Published on January 16, 2012 by Joey Mullins  

Over 100 Samford student-athletes, coaches and staff assisted Samaritan's Feet, Inc., with its Shoes of Hope Distribution for the National Day of Service, honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Monday morning at Boutwell Auditorium.

Along with Samford and Samaritan's Feet, the event was sponsored by the city of Birmingham, Alabama Power, BB&T, Sam's Club and Christian Service Mission.

Samaritan's Feet is a non-profit organization dedicated to changing lives by washing the feet of each shoe recipient, sharing a message of hope and encouragement and placing a new pair of athletic shoes on each recipient's feet. Since 2003, Samaritan's Feet has provided shoes to an estimated 3.5 million children in over 60 nations.

Manny Ohonme, founder and CEO of Samaritan's Feet, was on hand at the event, along with Samford's representatives, officials from the city of Birmingham and representatives from each corporate sponsor of the event.

The Samford student-athletes, coaches and staff participated in washing the recipients' feet, placing socks and shoes on their feet and visiting with them as well.

"This is a great experience," Charlie Sanford, a junior offensive lineman on the Bulldog football team, said. "It's really humbling to see how blessed we are. I know there are a lot of people who aren't as fortunate as we are. This is a good chance for us to reach out to people and help people because that's what this community really needs."

Representatives from each of Samford's 17 athletic teams participated in the event.

"It's really a neat experience because it makes you think about how you really have a good life," Paige Anderson, a senior guard on the Samford women's basketball team, said. "When you have a chance to help somebody who wouldn't normally have something like this, it makes you feel good."

For more information on Samaritan's Feet, go to the organization's website at

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.