April 4, 2014
By Kory Walker
ARLINGTON, Texas - The UT Arlington Athletics Department had several track-and-field student-athletes volunteer at the Salvation Army's Y.E.T Center in Arlington as part of the NCAA's Final Four community service activities. Student-athletes from UT Arlington volunteered alongside members from Samaritan's Feet Organization to help wash the feet of individuals, hand out food, and other various tasks in an effort to give back to the local community.
Samaritan's Feet was founded by Nigerian-born Manny Ohonme and his wife, Tracie, in 2003, and is a 501(c)(3) humanitarian aid organization that shares a message of hope and love by distributing new shoes and washing the feet of under-served individuals around the world. Their goal is to provide 10 million pairs of shoes, and since 2003, Samaritan's Feet and their teams of ambassadors have provided shoes for more than four million individuals in over 60 countries.
"It was an honorable experience helping me connect back to my community," freshman sprinter Danielle Conley, who is from Grand Prairie said. "Seeing the excitement and joy on the kids' faces was life changing."
Fellow freshman sprinter Tarah Bishop said added that "volunteering at Salvation Army was truly a humbling experience. You could really see how grateful the kids were, as well as their parents. It just made me realize how fortunate I am and I am so glad I was able to take part in aiding our community."
Tim Kennedy, who serves as the Life Skills Coordinator for UT Arlington's Athletics Department, always challenges the student-athletes to maintain a servant-minded attitude. This not only shows great character, but offers leadership opportunities for them now and in the future. A community service opportunity such as this one allows all participants involved to take on that attitude and be of help to someone else in their time of need.
UT Arlington Athletics is truly committed to impacting the lives of the student-athletes here in a positive manner, both on and off the playing field. The goal of any athletics team is to win championships, but UT Arlington Athletics also invest lots of resources so that the student-athletes here have an opportunity to be champions in life, well after their playing careers are over.
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