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Hasheem Thabeet and O.J. Mayo led a hand to Samaritan's Feet

O.J. Mayo and Hasheem Thabeet have put on their fair share of new shoes throughout their basketball careers, but on Jan. 13, they were the ones putting shoes on children in need, as they helped distribute 100 pairs of athletic shoes to the children in the Refugee Empowerment Program as part of the Samaritan’s Feet initiative.

View photos from the event.

Mayo and Thabeet not only contributed $2,500 apiece to make the distribution happen, but they also washed the feet of the refugee children and put new shoes and socks on them to show compassion to their plight. Before the distribution of shoes to an excited crowd of children, Thabeet addressed the group with a message of hope about his experiences growing up in Africa.

Afterwards, both Mayo and Thabeet stuck around to talk to the children on a one-on-way basis about everything from the children’s favorite subject in school to striving to reach goals.

The event marked the second year in a row that the Grizzlies had teamed up with Samaritan’s Feet. Samaritan’s Feet is an international ministry focused on bringing a life-changing message of hope to youth and children through sports and recreational adventures. They provide relief to people displaced due to poverty, ravaging wars and religious persecution.

The Refugee Empowerment Program addresses the unique needs and concerns of the refugee population of Memphis through innovative empowerment programs and creative community outreach.