May 2, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - Over 25 Tulane student-athletes who are members of the Tulane Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) participated in a shoe giveaway at Martin Berhman Charter School yesterday, working alongside the Samaritan's Feet organization.
Tulane's SAAC raised money to purchase nearly 250 pairs of shoes to donate to children who have been wearing hand-me-down shoes, possibly never owning a new pair of shoes.
Students from Martin Berhman Charter School in Algiers were treated like royalty by SAAC members, who washed their feet and chatted with the students before presenting them with a brand new pair of socks and shoes.
The Tulane SAAC group has worked with Samaritan's Feet - a non-profit organization dedicated to providing 10 million pairs of shoes to 10 million children over the next ten years - during the last few years, this was the first time that the group actually hosted their own shoe giveaway.
"We had a great time," said Green Wave track and field senior Brian Lozes, who is also the Tulane SAAC President. "A lot of these children may have never had a new pair of shoes, so today was real special for them. The interaction with the Tulane student-athletes hopefully made it a much more memorable experience, and it's an experience we will remember too."
Tulane's SAAC raised funds through donations at their web site, and they were also able to garner over $500 in donations at the March 26 Tulane baseball game against LSU.
Over 300 million people go without shoes each day, causing foot-borne illnesses. The seed for Samaritan's Feet was planted 28 years ago when Manny Ohonme was a nine-year-old boy in Lagos, Nigeria. A "Good Samaritan" gave him his first pair of shoes, and he developed a love for basketball that allowed him to earn a full basketball scholarship to play basketball at the University of North Dakota. After working in the technology industry, Ohonme decided to found Samaritan's Feet.