Aramark employees and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff hosted a Samaritan’s Feet event recently in observance of the National Day of Service.

The volunteers, including Aramark employees, UAPB students and student-athletes, and Pine Bluff community members, distributed 500 pairs of new athletic shoes to pre-registered local children at schools.

“The volunteers actively engaged the children as they helped wash the recipients’ feet and fit them in their new shoes and socks while conveying a message of hope and caring,” according to a news release.

Prior to the event, Aramark donated $10,000 (the cost of the shoes) to Samaritan’s Feet, a non-profit organization which collects and distributes shoes for people in need in targeted areas throughout the U.S. and internationally.

“Though Aramark as a company has been involved with Samaritan’s Feet through Aramark’s “Shoes of Hope” events in the past, this will be the first year Aramark has partnered with UAPB to host the event,” according to the release.

The National Day of Service programs are held in conjunction with honoring the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., according to the release.

“Each year, the Corporation for National and Community Service honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy by asking Americans to make the Martin Luther King Holiday a National Day of Service. The King family has chosen to partner with Samaritan’s Feet in a very unique way to demonstrate the servant leadership that he stood for,” according to the release.

“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 fitting them with new shoes,” according to a news release. “There are an estimated 2.2 billion people worldwide living in poverty and more than 1.5 billion who suffer from foot borne diseases. Since its founding by Manny Ohonme in 2003, Samaritan’s Feet and its team of ambassadors and partners have given shoes to more than 6.5 million children in more than 75 nations. For more information about Samaritan’s Feet International, visit .”