Hundreds of students receive free shoes

JACKSON, Tenn. — Something as small as a brand new pair of shoes can mean the world to someone who doesn’t have any.

The organization Samaritan’s Feet shared that feeling with students at Alexander Elementary School.

“We’re a humanitarian organization that shares a message of hope across the world, and that message is ‘Dream big dreams, education is the key, and never ever ever give up on your dreams,'” said Phil Campbell, the regional director for Samaritan’s Feet.

On Wednesday, the group partnered with community leaders to provide the students with a foot wash and a brand new pair of shoes.

“[For] the children that may be in this school who do not have the pair that fit them exactly, it causes them a little bit of learning difficulty sometimes, so we take care of that,” Campbell said.

“This is a school I went to when I was a kid, so it makes it feel really good to come back home with something so beautiful,” said Desmond Echoles, an Operations Manager for PRA Group who volunteered today, along with 30 coworkers.

The event is part of the National Day of Service Campaign by Samaritan’s Feet.

The local community leaders in attendance said the reactions from the children are the best part.

“It kind of puts things in perspective. It lets you know how fortunate you are because some of these children have never had a pair of new shoes,” Echoles said.

In fact, hundreds of students will go home with a free pair.

The volunteers hope the event shows the children a key lesson.

“It’s serving others, and teaching these children servant leadership, so that’s what this whole month is all about,” Campbell said.

If a student was absent Wednesday, the group left a pair of shoes for them at the front desk to pick up.

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