Team Kentucky leaders, Kentucky team leaders partner with Samaritan’s Feet for shoe giveaway

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Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 10:09 AM EDT
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PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - Lieutenant governor Jacqueline Coleman, Governor Andy Beshear’s senior advisor Rocky Adkins, and coaches from the University of Kentucky made a visit to Floyd County Tuesday to help students in the area start school off on the right foot.

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Hundreds of families lined up outside of the Jenny Wiley State Resort Lodge Tuesday as a group of leaders partnered with Samaritan’s Feet for a shoe giveaway.

Team Kentucky, working with the coaches from Kentucky’s teams, helped distribute from 2,500 pairs of shoes and socks to families as a response to the recent flooding that devastated much of the region.

“It’s great to see- hopefully see- these families have a little bit of hope,” said Samaritan’s Feet Head Volunteer JC Hensley. “Give them a little bit of joy in the midst of a lot of tragedy and a lot of hardship.”

Coleman agreed, saying the event was more emotional than she anticipated, comparing the image of families and their loss to the images of smiling faces at the lodge.

“It really does make you smile, and it gives them hope. And it’s a tiny moment in a long period of uncertainty for them where you get to see them smiling. So, it was more than I expected it to be,” said Coleman.

Coleman said the event was a perfect way for leaders in the commonwealth to put their servant hearts to action, washing feet and stepping up to help in a time of need.

“These leaders- these coaches that these kids look up to, that these families look up to, that they see on TV, that are the big... you know... celebrities of Kentucky- are washing kids’ feet,” she said. “To show these kids and these families that this is what leadership is truly about? So often, that’s so lost on us in in the adult world. We forget that that’s the purpose of leadership is to serve and what we did today was a perfect living of that.”

The Calipari Foundation donated 5,000 pairs of shoes, while Samaritan’s Feet secured 10,000 to be distributed to areas in need. Hanes donated 10,000 pairs of socks.

The Prestonsburg stop was one of two the team made Tuesday. Officials say leftover items from the events will be donated at the discretion of the governor’s office to families in need.