If you are anything like me, you probably don’t think about how many pairs of shoes you have. Most of us probably even wear several different pairs of shoes on a daily basis. Gym shoes or tennis shoes for workouts, dress shoes, heels, or school shoes for the day, maybe a pair of flip flops or slippers after work, in the garden or around the house. Not to mention the occasional special hiking boots, snow boots, water safe shoes, soccer shoes, golf shoes, cocktail party shoes, etc. etc. And I’m not talking about people with a shoe fetish. This is just what I believe most average households and families have.
I don’t know if any of us can even image life without shoes. And yet there are millions of children around the world who don’t own a single pair of shoes. They grow up barefoot and are at risk of injury, infections, and diseases. So what can we do to help them?
Well, while I was shopping for shoes for my daughter over the weekend, we came across a pair of TOMS which she really liked and I was happy to purchase for her. I felt like I was doing something good because if you know about TOMS shoes, you know that with every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for One.
Purchasing TOMS shoes is only one way to help make a difference. I’d like to share the story of a dear friend of mine, Manny Ohonme who I worked with before he decided to follow his heart and his sole purpose in life. I’m amazed and awed by what he has been able to accomplish as the founder of Samaritans Feet, and I’m sure you will be too.
Today’s Inspiring Story
Emmanuel (Manny) Ohonme was a 9-year old barefoot African boy at a camp in Lagos, Nigeria when a “Good Samaritan” from Wisconsin befriended him and gave him his first pair of shoes. This life changing gift and message of hope and inspiration enabled Manny to compete in sports, and develop a love as well as extraordinary talent for competitive basketball.
His determination, hard work, skill and confidence paid off when he was offered a full basketball scholarship to the University of North Dakota. He met his wife while attending the University and went on to a successful career in the technology industry. In spite of all his success, Manny never forgot the children in Africa who were still living under the strain of poverty, drug abuse, war, and other criminal activity. Determined to help, Manny left the comfort and security of his executive position and started Samaritan’s Feet.
Manny lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with his family and together they are working to make the vision of Samaritan’s Feet a reality. They hope to put 10 million pairs of shoes on the feet of 10 million orphans and impoverished children around the world. Manny wishes to make a difference in the lives of millions by continuing the legacy of love and hope which he received with his first pair of shoes.
You can read more of Manny’s story in his book, Sole Purpose. Visit him on Facebook, or the Samaritans Feet website at http://www.samaritansfeet.organd see how you can make a difference too. Vacations That Matter will collaborate with Samaritans Feet to plan vacations for groups who wish to support their mission trips in distributing shoes to those in need throughout the world.