Clarke and Elizabeth Allen

Hope Giver 2022

Fundraising for Samaritans Feet International
raised of US$25,000 target
by 11 supporters
Join us for our 11th annual gala on November 12th to reflect and celebrate the impact our story and mission have had on children around the world.


It is a great honor to be selected as a 2022 Samaritan's Feet Hope Giver. Manny and Tracie O'Honme, have meant a great deal to me over the past decade. My story, like many others, is unique to their own relationship with Manny and Samaritan's Feet. Manny came into my life during a time of tumultuous upheaval and personal change. I chronicled these events in a book I recently published entitled "The Inevitable Box: A Quest of Significance". Please see except below from the chapter Change:

"Concurrent to this time of pleading for answers, a man named Manny O'homme came to tour my building with a mutual friend of ours. While we walked through the building, Manny told me about his organization, Samaritan's Feet, and its mission to put 10 million pairs of shoes on the feet of 10 million children over a 10-year period. He was organizing an event called World Walk, where he would personally walk barefoot from Charlotte to Atlanta to help raise money and awareness for Samaritan's Feet. I was moved by this man and wanted to contribute to his mission. 

After the inspiration had worn off, I was sitting on my deck, late that night having another "why me, why" session with God. I went to bed that night feeling very low. At 6:20AM the next morning, my cell phone rang, which was very usual at that hour. It was Manny. He told me that God had placed my name on his heart. He wanted me to help in organizing the World Walk event and then he wanted me to go with him to Africa in six weeks so I could learn what his organization was really about. Next thing I knew; I was traveling by myself for a two-week mission trip to join Manny in Africa. I realized later that this was not accident or coincidence. I was in the midst of the most painful period of my life, and I found myself in shantytowns and villages with families that had absolutely nothing. I was faced with more poverty than I knew was possible for survival. The irony was that those were some of the happiest, most faithful, and most community-oriented people I had ever encountered. 

While there, we made a visit to an orphanage to deliver shoes. When we puled up, the signs of the suffering and struggle that come as results of mental and physical illness were mainly presented to us. I felt the pain through the sounds of the crying children resonate so deeply in my hear that I literally couldn't go inside. I kept myself busy, taking control of unloading shoes from the bus and organizing them by sizes and color. I figured that providing the labor would make up for me having to actually go into the building. 

Pastor Michael A. Stevens, Sr., of University City Church in Charlotte, one of the leaders on the trip came and told me that Manny wanted to see me inside. I told him I just couldn't do it. Manny came out and got me. He kew that I had to face my fear.

"This is why we're here, Clarke. We need your help inside," he told me. 

I was left with no choice but to follow Manny's lead. I went inside with a mind so clouded by dread and hesitance that I hadn't stopped to think about exactly what I would be required to do. Around the room, children sat in chairs with plastic basins of water place in front of them. Volunteers kneels by the basins, dipping cloths into the water and holding the children's feet in their hands as they wiped away the dirt and filth that caked the child's skin. Once their feet were clean, the kids would hear the story of Jesus and of ope and receive their very own new pair of shoes - the same ones I had been mindlessly organizing just moments earlier as I tried to avoid the inevitable. It then became strikingly clear what Manny expected of me. 

Ricardo, a young African boy, had accidentally fallen off a bridge several years earlier. Following this tragedy, he endured a surgery that required the removal of a portion of his brain. Not only was Ricardo a quadriplegic, bound to a wheelchair, but he was also severely mentally handicapped. It was only by chance that I met Ricard that day, but as I looked into his eyes, I saw a child who was scared and who really needed me. The simple act of rolling up my sleeves to wash Ricardo's feet was so profound that even today, it is something I can't adequately explain. My experience with him became a turning point in my life. 

I walked out of there completely changed. I had done something that made me very uncomfortable, and in doing so, I realized that my perception, my fear, was simply invalid. I made a difference in someone else's life. By doing something as insignificant as washing dirt from a child's feet, I became significant. 

On the bus ride from the orphanage, I asked Manny about how he came to this mission in his life. He told me of being a nine-year-old boy in Nigeria when a stranger from Wisconsin came and delivered both a message of hope and his first paid of tennis shoes. Equipped with those shoes, Many began competing in sports activities in Africa. He developed a love and talent for basketball, which resulted in a full basketball scholarship to the University of North Dakota, Lake Region. He told me he felt it was his life's mission to continue the legacy of generosity and hope given to him as a child. 

As we rode along, I asked him if he was ever able to thank the man who gave him his first pair of shoes. When he told me he hadn't, I had to wonder if that man in Wisconsin has any idea that his small act of generosity has been a catalyst to set so many beautiful things in motion. 

I left Africa wanting to be a better man. I knew I could put my autograph on all of the hardship and pain in my life. I had myself to blame for all the times I sat back in the midst of my destruction blaming the economy, my staff, or my ex-wife. I knew it was me. I had lost my way. Tom Cruise said it best to Cuba Gooding, Jr. in Jerry Maguire:

"When you get on the field, it's all about what you didn't get, who's to blame, who under threw the pass, who's got the contracts you don't, who's not giving you love. That is not what inspires people. That is not what inspires people! Shut up, play the it from the heart".

I hope you will consider joining up for the 11th annual gala on November 12th to reflect and celebrate the impact our story and mission has had on children around the world. Through the generosity of our supporters, we have been able to become a friend to those in need and a combatant to foot-borne illnesses. Consider donating today and help us spread a powerful message of hope, one pair of shoes at a time.

About the campaign

Join us for our 11th annual gala on November 12th to reflect and celebrate the impact our story and mission have had on children around the world.

About the charity

Samaritan's Feet serves and inspires hope in children by providing shoes as the foundation to a spiritual and healthy life resulting in the advancement of education and economic opportunities.

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