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Samaritan's Feet Gives Shoes To Those In Need

January 15, 2012, 9:40 PM by Hailey Higgins

Samaritan's Feet Gives Shoes To Those In Need
SIOUX FALLS, SD - The call went out for families who needed new shoes and within four hours hundreds signed up.

Sunday, to commemorate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., more than 100 volunteers not only put shoes on the feet but also washed them.

It's a day Danika Goings has been waiting for a long time. The seven-year-old is getting a brand new pair of shoes. But before she can be fitted in her kicks, her feet are cleaned by a member of the South Dakota State men's basketball team.

"Whenever he is washing my feet, it felt really smooth," Danika said.

Alongside her mom Donelle, Danika is served by Samaritan's Feet. This is the first year the international humanitarian organization is holding this event in South Dakota.

They're influenced by SDSU coach Scott Nagy's efforts, to build awareness to people living without shoes around the world. Saturday night, Nagy coached his fourth game barefoot. And next to his sons and players this afternoon, he too, is washing feet.

"This is something that is real. When you are washing people's feet, it is a humbling experience. I think it is better for my players than it is for the people they're working for," Nagy said.

By washing feet, the organization hopes to express love and compassion to those struggling in Minnehaha County.

"A lot of these families are choosing between whether to provide food for their families or clothing and we want to make those decisions a lot easier for them to make," Samaritan's Feet Director of Marketing Todd Melloh said.

The new shoes were paid by donating from across the country and today they will go on the feet of 350 people.

"It feels good, but I think it is important not to do it because of that. Just because it feels good for you and I think sometimes, that's what people get involved in but we want to be able to do is help people," Nagy said.

People like Danika have big plans for her new shoes.

"I am going to go across the street to my school playground and play and ride my scooter if my mom lets me," Danika said.

Seventeen similar Samaritan's Feet events took place across the country. The organization hopes to hold several more in South Dakota later this year.

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