No shirt, no shoes … no problem. Dozens of Samaritan’s Feet volunteers were on hand at the Life Enrichment Center in Dayton from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 27.
The Wright State Raiders basketball team and staff were serving people who had registered beforehand. Almost 200 people had their feet washed, and were given a clean pair of socks and brand new shoes.
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This is the 10th year for Nagy to volunteer as an ambassador for Samaritan’s Feet. He coached South Dakota State for eight years before coming to Wright State, where he first learned about the charity. He took a mission trip to Haiti in August of 2016 for Samaritan’s Feet. Ambassadors of the organization sometimes go barefoot to draw attention to the organization.
“People come up to you and ask, ‘What the heck are you doing?’ It’s an opportunity to talk about Samaritan’s Feet,” said Coach Scott Nagy, a Bellbrook resident who went barefoot during the Detroit game on Jan. 26. “It’s a great organization. I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of it. Events like this are the best experiences for our players to be able to give back to the community.”
Barefoot or no, Nagy coached his team to a win over the Titans 87-55. The Raiders are used to this, as their record at the time of this writing was 17-6. The whole Wright State team was at the LEC; a total of 19 that included five from the staff. Second-year assistant coach Sharif Chambliss was on hand.
“It is a really great cause. It’s always good to give back,” said Chambliss, a Centerville resident. “You can help less fortunate people; let them know you care and they are in your prayers.”
Like Nagy, second-year assistant coach Clint Sargent has a long history with Samaritan’s Feet. He played for Nagy while attending South Dakota State University.
“The mission of Samaritan’s Feet never gets old, it’s very rewarding. Obviously, it’s for the people we’re serving, but it’s also for us to interact with people and wash their feet and come alongside them and serve which is a great experience for us,” said Sargent, who lives in Kettering with his wife Jill, and children Gracie and CJ. We want to show our young men how to serve apart from basketball. It’s a big part of their development, bigger than basketball. It gives them a proper perspective on life.”
Frances Mehl was one of the registrants who received new shoes. They were bright pink, black and white gym shoes, size 6 and a half.
“They are very comfortable. I think [Samaritan’s Feet] is wonderful,” said Mehl, who lives in Sunny Acres in Dayton.
Samaritan’s Feet was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C.
The National Day of Service was Jan. 15, in honor of the late Rev. Martin Luther King. This month Samaritan’s Feet has served in 24 different cities, serving 11,000 people through the efforts of 2,000 volunteers.
“We have a generous grant that we received from the Corporation for National and Community Service, which afforded us the opportunity to serve in 12 cities where Dr. Martin Luther King had a significant presence,” said Samaritan’s Feet regional director of operations Denise Blomberg. “Bringing hope and inspiration to people is really what we’re all about.”
Sanford Health then matched those funds with another $300,000. According to World Bank, 767 million people living in poverty can’t afford education and basic needs like shoes and socks.
For more information about Samaritan’s Feet, go online to www.samaritansfeet.org or call 980-939-8150.
Contact this contributing writer at PamDillon@woh.rr.com.