Over the last two weeks, we’ve had leaders from two global organizations come to Memphis to share their stories and even work alongside us to lift some of our most vulnerable youth. On Tuesday, April 11, 2017 we hosted our annual cityCURRENT - Samaritan’s Feet shoe distribution in partnership with St. George’s Independent School and Serve901. More than a hundred volunteers came out to bless hundreds of local children from various nonprofits, like Refugee Empowerment Program, Girls Inc. of Memphis, and Latino Memphis, by washing their feet and providing them new shoes, socks, and A LOT of love, hugs and hope! Many of the children we served were refugees from countries like Sudan, who came to our city with almost nothing and were so appreciative to receive not only the gift of a new pair of shoes, but the warm smiles and support from our citizens. It was a powerful day of giving and, speaking of smiles, if you want to smile, just check out some of the pictures and videos from the event on our facebook page at facebook.com/cityCURRENT.
As a part of the event, our friends and founders of Samaritan’s Feet, Dr. Manny Ohonme and his wife, Tracie, joined us, as well. Manny shared his inspirational story of growing up in Africa where poverty is widespread and shoes are a luxury; and how the gift of a new pair of shoes from a U.S. aide worker completely changed his life. Now, Manny and his wife lead a global organization that has provided more than 7 million shoes to those in need. They’re working with tens of thousands of volunteers in 90 countries around the world and in hundreds of cities across America, just like here in Memphis, Tennessee.
While here, Manny and Tracie introduced their “World Shoe,” which is a shoe they are manufacturing in the U.S. that has an anti-microbrial agent inside the shoe’s material that helps heal and prevent footborn infections and the contraction of diseases. According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.5 billion people across the world are affected by a soil-transmitted disease that could be prevented by wearing proper footwear. This shoe is now becoming an answer and an opportunity for there to come a day when there are no longer any shoeless children. What a miracle that would be!
Next week, I’ll talk about the other leader who visited our city, Jake Harriman, and the powerful difference he is making to fight povery around the world with his nonprofit, Nuru International. It’s just amazing to see and know that our city of Memphis is playing a role in helping these organizations do good on a global stage!