Setting aside their shoes

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Questions of basketball strategy and player skill may abound from Friday’s upcoming matchup between Nansemond River and King’s Fork high schools, but another question some will ask is, “Why are the coaches not wearing any shoes?”

The coaching staffs of both school’s varsity and junior varsity teams will use Friday’s games to shine a light on Shoes of Hope, an international shoe distribution initiative created by an organization called Samaritan’s Feet.

The organization’s website states a simple mission: “We want to inspire hope through the gift of shoes, the act of washing feet and encouragement to those who need it most.”

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The site noted a study has shown that almost three billion people living in poverty are hungry, lack access to healthcare and cannot afford education and basic articles of clothing and shoes.

“People without shoes face dangers like laceration, fungus, and insect bites that can lead to infection, disease, and even death,” the site continued. “Children with no shoes are often not allowed entrance to education in many countries and can find their way into slavery, or unsafe and inexcusable child labor environments.”

Bulldogs coach Josh Worrell said he became aware of Shoes of Hope, because Old Dominion University promoted the initiative about three weeks ago, and he “thought it’d be a good situation for us to shed light on.”

Both the Bulldogs’ and Warriors’ varsity and JV coaching staffs will place their shoes by their benches on Friday and coach without them to show support for Shoes of Hope.

There will be a table set up in the King’s Fork lobby giving more details to anyone interested in making donations to Shoes of Hope. The program accepts monetary donations and donations of new shoes in a box.

There will also be sweatbands and wristbands for sale with all proceeds going to the cause.

For more information, visit or contact King’s Fork activities director Randy Jessee at or 923-5240, extension 3.