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NFL star Steve Smith, ex-Tiger DeAngelo Williams get kids up to speed in new shoes

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A young boy sat across from DeAngelo Williams, wearing a questioning look as he began taking his shoes off.

"No, I've got that for you," Williams said.

He removed the boy's shoes, then socks and began washing his feet.

NFL stars Steve Smith and Williams were among the volunteers to wash the feet of 500 children and provide them with new socks and shoes.

Smith and Williams, players for the Carolina Panthers, worked alongside Samaritan's Feet in their global goal to provide 10 million children with shoes.

Smith is the NFL ambassador for Samaritan's Feet.

"It is great to see the celebrities humble themselves before these children," said Manny Ohonme, founder of Samaritan's Feet. "This moment will be branded in the hearts of the kids for the rest of their lives. They'll be telling their grandkids about this experience."

Ohonme received his first pair of shoes in Nigeria when he was 9, and years later he decided to create Samaritan's Feet, which focuses on providing impoverished children with shoes.

The organization has touched 4 million lives and is continuing to grow.

Ohonme plans on stretching his 40-city plan in the U.S. to 60, and the group visits four to six other countries every year.

"There are 300 million kids that wake up every morning without shoes when (walking) is their mode of transportation," he said.

Ohonme said that it is a matter of life or death to those children because of the parasites that could infect their feet.

"It's more than just shoes," he said.

Smith became a member of Samaritan's Feet when he was looking for a humanitarian event to participate in with his family and met Ohonme at his church in Charlotte.

"I'm a shoe guy," Smith said. "It was a perfect fit."

Smith has events planned in Los Angeles and Peru in the next few months and is planning a trip to Jerusalem.

"No matter how many children are there (at the event), there are the one or two kids you truly connect with, and the ones that you see a little of yourself in," he said.

"The few kids who step out and give you a hug, or the way they say thank you that is completely different from the others; those are the kids that truly inspire me to help."

For his trip to Memphis, Smith invited Williams, the former University of Memphis star.

"The most rewarding part of this is seeing the smile on the kids' faces after you have a conversation with them," Williams said. "It feels wonderful to have the opportunity to reach into someone's life and help them with something they might not get at home."

Williams said it's always great to be back in Memphis, but it is even better that he is coming back to serve the children.

Streets Ministries of Memphis has participated in Samaritan's Feet for nine years.

"People want to serve, but they don't know how," Smith said.

"I love telling the kids that they can do anything they set their minds to, and it brings a smile to their face; that's when you know you're doing something right."


Good for Steve and D-will.

You can also donate here: https://samaritansfeet.myetap.org/fundraiser/fundraisingpage/individual.do?participationRef=3214.0.61277231

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