Shoe giveaway encourages walk in King’s footsteps

Shoe giveaway encourages walk in King’s footsteps

Vickie Westmoreland, left, gets ready to pick out a new pair of shoes at Monday's MLK "Walk Like the King" shoe giveaway held at St. John AME Zion Church in Wilson.

Martin Luther King Jr. believed in the power of giving and helping those in need.

And on Monday afternoon, community leaders followed in King’s footsteps by carrying on his altruistic legacy and giving away new shoes to attendees of all ages at the “Walk Like the King” event held at St. John AME Zion Church.

“Dr. King walked over 6 million miles in his lifetime for equality and justice,” said state MLK Commissioner Jacquie Jeffers. “We wanted people to have a great start to the summer and have a selection of new summer shoes to ‘Walk Like the King’ with pride, equality and diversity.”

The N.C. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission partnered with the Wilson County Department of Social Services, the Team Power Foundation and WideAwake Da Beat Radio to make it happen.

More than 200 pairs of new shoes in all sizes lined the tables for folks to pick out and take home with them Monday.

“There is a need and people are very grateful,” Jeffers said. “We really appreciate being about to do this for the King holiday.”


Christie McIver’s two children couldn’t stop smiling. They were among many who were blessed with a free pair of shoes.

“It’s awesome,” McIver said.

She said the event will also give her an opportunity to talk with her children about who King was and what he did for so many.

“Our history is a lot,” she said. “We’ve got to learn how to teach our kids what it really means.”

John Woodard and Demetrius Lindsey, owners of WideAwake Da Beat Radio, said they were thrilled to be a part of the event and give back to the community.

“We want to help be that voice in the community,” Woodard said.

Darian Cahill, president of the nonprofit Team Power Foundation, said the giveaway was about bringing people together to encourage them to walk in unity.

“And actually be able to have the shoes to be able to walk,” Cahill added.

The foundation aims to bring leadership skills through sports for youth in the community.

“On a day like this, I think this is really, really great,” said Jeremy Jeffers, the nonprofit’s vice president. “It brings joy to our hearts knowing we are helping others.”