A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Samaritan’s Feet bringing new shoes for every child to Newport, Dayton, Bellevue public schools

Three Northern Kentucky nonprofits have teamed up with a national nonprofit, Samaritan’s Feet, to see that every pre-K through 6th-grade student in Newport, Bellevue and Dayton public schools get new shoes for the coming school year.

Southbank Partners, Butler Foundation, and the NKyTribune are local sponsors for the project which involves nearly 2,000 students.

Samaritan’s Feet is an international nonprofit founded by Manny Ohonme, a Nigerian who received his first pair of shoes when he was nine — in a contest sponsored by a missionary. That changed his life, and now the nonprofit he founded changes the lives of children around the world. The organization is based in Charlotte, N.C.

Manny Ohonme

Ohonme won a full basketball scholarship to an American college and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree. He was successful in the technology industry. He and his wife Tracie started Samaritan’s Feet in 2003 and since then have put shoes on the feet of millions of children worldwide.

Denise Blomberg is regional director of operations for Samaritan’s Feet. She plans domestic distribution events in the Midwest and Western U.S. When an event in Kentucky had to be postponed, she contacted Judy Clabes, editor and publisher of the NKyTribune, about how to bring an event to Campbell County’s river cities.

Clabes contacted Jack Moreland of Southbank Partners who brought leadership from the Newport, Bellevue and Dayton schools together — and from that meeting, Bloomberg had an ideal set-up for her program. She would be able to put shoes on the feet of nearly 2000 students, right at the beginning of school.

Denise Bloomberg

Bloomberg had funding from WalMart and the Calipari Foundation, both supporters of the international program. Corporex Foundation provided the local funding.

The Northern Kentucky events will be during the school days:
 
Wednesday, August 22 (morning) – Shoe distribution at Newport Primary School
 
Thursday, August 23 (morning) – Shoe distribution at Ben Flora Gym/Bellevue
 
Friday, August 24 (morning) Shoe distribution at Lincoln Elementary School
 
Monday, August 27 (morning) – Shoe distribution at Newport Intermediate School


 
“The magnitude and scope of this inclusive project require the collective good of so many amazing people,” said Bloomberg. “I am excited to work with all the great educators and volunteers who are making this possible.”

To accomplish the shoe fittings, nearly 170 volunteers are needed.

Samaritan’s Feet requires that each child is greeted personally by a volunteer who washes the child’s feet and fits the child with a new pair of socks and a new pair of shoes.

To volunteer, go to the online links and sign up for each location:
 
Newport Primary  
 
Ben Flora/Bellevue 
 
Lincoln Elementary/Dayton
 
Newport Intermediate

 

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