Serving Veterans in Our Own Backyard

Because of a special donor, Samaritan’s Feet was able to serve around 150 U.S. Veterans at a meaningful event right in its own backyard in Charlotte, N.C.

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“I know it seems small, but that’s what I need right now, a pair of socks.”

A U.S. veteran excitedly accepted a few pairs of new socks from the Samaritan’s Feet team at a resource event for veterans experiencing homelessness. Hosted at the VA Clinic, the event, called “Homeless Veterans Stand Down,” offered food, household items, job resources, and more to veterans in the Charlotte area struggling to make ends meet.

Larry Davis, Security and Logistics Manager at Samaritan’s Feet, wanted to make sure he participated in this event. “I served in the Navy as a Petty Officer Third Class, so I wanted to make sure I was out here to serve my fellow veterans today,” he said. It didn’t take Larry long to find a veteran who served on the same Navy ship as him. They shared stories and smiles as they reminisced on their times serving abroad.

A family who supports Samaritans’s Feet made a donation in order to give around 125 veterans a new pair of shoes and socks. Samaritan’s Feet gave out sturdy work boots and/or athletic shoes, both of which received eager responses.

“It’s hard to walk in these old slides, so I’m glad to have these tennis shoes,” said one veteran. “Wow, these are nice boots,” said another.

Many of the recipients who were served that day had just met with job services or had recently gotten notified that they were going to start a new job. And with that, they shared there were certain specifications on footwear they could wear on the job.

One individual needed boots for his new job, and was thrilled to have a great new pair to wear on his first day. Another individual came towards the end of the event seeking a pair of black and white shoes, a requirement for his new job at Publix Super Markets, one he was so proud to have attained. A volunteer searched through the boxes marked his size for a black and white, but couldn’t seem to find one. After searching the other boxes, a black and white pair of tennis shoes in his size was found mixed in with a different size. The man tried them on and began clapping, high-fiving, and hugging those around him.

It may seem like a small thing, but it was a big deal for him; It was one less thing to worry about. It was a little boost in confidence, to look good and feel good, as he walks into his new job.