Samaritan’s Feet Concludes “Back to Basics” Back to School Campaign Providing Shoes, Socks and Office Depot Foundation Sackpacks to Children Across the United States

Charlotte, NC, November 11, 2012 --( In a nationwide initiative called Back to Basics, Samaritan’s Feet partnered with organizations and sponsors across the United States to host 88 events to provide approximately 41,100 pairs of new athletic shoes and socks to children and parents as they prepared for school this fall. In addition, nearly 33,000 of these children in grades K-5 received new sackpacks containing essential school supplies from the Office Depot Foundation through its National Backpack Program – part of a total donation of 48,000 sackpacks to Samaritan’s Feet in 2012.

Many families face the new school year with anxiety stemming from the burden of stretching the family budget to purchase required school supplies. Millions of children right here in the US wake up with holes in their shoes or have to squeeze their feet into shoes that are two or three sizes too small. Many suffer the embarrassment of taking their books and supplies to school in plastic grocery bags.

To address these concerns, Samaritan’s Feet and partners across the United States unite each summer to prepare students materially, physically and psychologically for school through the Back to Basics initiative. Furthermore, Samaritan’s Feet’s Back to Basics program empowers thousands of volunteers from diverse backgrounds to serve others in their own community. The objective is to celebrate the start of school by making the families feel loved, valued and encouraged.

“Serving those in need throughout the United States is a great opportunity to bring hope and encouragement to those who are struggling financially,” said Manny Ohonme, founder of Samaritan’s Feet. “We are profoundly grateful for the Office Depot Foundation, for our event sponsors, and for the dedicated volunteers who donated their time and energy to give back to those in need.”

Adds Office Depot Foundation President Mary Wong, “There is tremendous synergy between the missions of Samaritan’s Feet International and the Office Depot Foundation. We share the goal of helping children succeed in school and in life. We are proud that, through our continuing partnership with Samaritan’s Feet, we are making a difference in the lives of kids and families here in the United States and around the world.”

About Samaritan's Feet
Samaritan’s Feet is a 501(c)(3) humanitarian aid organization that shares a message of hope and love through washing the feet of impoverished children around the world and adorning them with new shoes. There are an estimated 300 million children who go without shoes every day and more than one million that die each year from foot borne disease. Our goal is to provide 10 million pairs of shoes for children in the next 10 years, and since 2003 Samaritan’s Feet and its team of ambassadors have blessed more than four million children in more than 60 nations.

Samaritan’s Feet was started in 2003 by Manny Ohonme who received his first pair of shoes at the age of nine from a missionary. Those shoes allowed him to learn and play the game of basketball, which ultimately earned him a scholarship to the University of North Dakota (Lake Region). Manny went on to receive his bachelor’s and master’s degrees and pursued a successful career in supply chain software industries. A simple pair of shoes and the kindness and compassion shared by this missionary changed the course of Manny’s life. Learn more at

About The Office Depot Foundation
The Office Depot Foundation is an independent foundation (tax exempt under IRC Sec. 501(c)(3)) that serves as the independent charitable giving arm of Office Depot, Inc. In keeping with its mission, Listen Learn Care®, the Foundation supports a variety of programs that help children succeed in school and in life; enable civil society (non-profit) organizations to become more efficient and effective; assist people and businesses in preparing for disasters, then recovering and rebuilding afterwards; strengthen local communities through grants, product donations and volunteerism; and encourage community development through entrepreneurship and economic innovation. For more information, visit
Samaritan's Feet International
Jenny Fritz