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Hundreds of elementary students in Winston-Salem get new shoes

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Hundreds of Mineral Springs Elementary students walked into the gym not knowing what to expect.

They knew there would be special guests in the building, but they didn’t know they would come bearing gifts.

More than 650 children were given a new pair of shoes thanks to a partnership between Samaritan’s Feet and BB&T.

This is the first time the school has received this kind of support.

“We are a Title I school, 100 percent free and reduce lunch school population, so obviously we have many families that are living in poverty, and so this is such a special gift for them,” principal Debra Gladstone said.

“We’re depositing hope in the heart of these kids and saying you can be the difference, you can change the world,” said Manny Ohonme, Co-Founder, CEO, & President of Samaritan’s Feet.

The students had their feet washed by BB&T employees before being fitted for shoes.

100 associates in BB&T’s Young Leaders United Program participated in the initiative.

“It's been very rewarding to connect with them on an individual basis and watch their smiles and have them enjoy basically a BB&T spa day,” said Dontá Wilson, senior executive vice president and chief client experience officer for BB&T.

Students were excited about the unexpected gift.

“I like them because I didn’t have [another] pair at home, so I like these. This is a great environment,” Zion Godley said.

“They’re clean and they’re natural,” Melinna Castillo said.

Samaritan’s Feet International is based in Charlotte.

If you would like this program to come to a Title I school in your community visit https://www.samaritanspurse.org/.