Campton, Ky. – On Tuesday, December 18th University of the Cumberlands (UC) Women's JV Basketball team joined with the University of Kentucky (UK) Men's Basketball team and head coach John Calipari in Campton, Ky. to help Samaritan's Feet pass out socks and shoes to children that needed them. The shoe distribution was part of Samaritan's Barefoot for Bare Feet movement.
"Samaritan's Feet has been great for this community and all the kids are enjoying this tremendously," said Campton Elementary Principal Sam Dunn. "This brings the community together as a whole because some of these kids don't get new shoes every year. Having the shoes donated and the teams come in gets everyone excited."
Students from Rogers Elementary and Campton Elementary—identified as those most likely in need of new shoes—sat one-by-one as UC and UK basketball players, Coach Calipari and other volunteers bathed their feet and clothed them in the new socks and shoes. Approximately 600 children were served as they witnessed the kindness of others.
"It was a great experience to participate and get to talk to the kids about getting new shoes," said UC basketball player Karlie Blackburn. "When teams come together like we and UK did today it shows we were willing to help. Hopefully with the kids seeing others help them it will leave them wanting to help those less fortunate when they get older."
Shelby Powell (Winchester, KY), Olivia Farmer (Hyden, KY), Karlie Blackburn (Corbin, KY), Gine' Nichols (Horse Cave, KY) and Kayla Shelton (Artemus, KY) all participated in the event. The Patriots spent the day washing feet, gathering shoes and running clean water to fill the footbaths.
"These kids helped me today to realize that we don't need to take things for granted because there are people out there that need our help and are having a rough time right now," said Farmer.
"It's amazing to see all the people in this community and from the outside helping these children today," said Samaritan's Feet Founder and CEO Emmanuel Ohonme. "This tells them ‘you're special and you are somebody. Just because you went through hard times doesn't mean this is all for you, you can still do great things.'"
UC participated with the event to help learn the shoe distribution process, and to be a part of the difference it makes in the lives of many—including those that volunteer. On January 24, 2013, UC women's basketball head coach Melissa Irvin and her team will host their second annual Barefoot for Bare Feet Game at 6:00 pm against UVA-Wise. The team has set a goal of reaching $3,000 in total contributions so that a shoe distribution can be setup in Southeastern Kentucky to help local children.
Anyone wishing to participate or make a donation can contact Shane Anglin at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Coach Irvin's Barefoot website at http://samaritansfeet.myetap.org/fundraiser/fundraisingpage/individual.do?participationRef=3214.0.164691047.
For more information on the University of the Cumberlands Women's Basketball Team you can visit the athletics website http://www.cumberlandspatriots.com.
Located in Williamsburg, KY, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; nine graduate degrees, including two doctorates, a specialist, and six master's degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.