Letting his feet do the talking

Manny Ohonme, founder of the Samaritan's Feet charity, is walking shoeless from Charlotte to Atlanta this week in hopes of raising $1 million and 300,000 pairs of shoes for needy children around the globe.

Ohonme's aching feet could have used some shoes, too, Monday afternoon.

“My feet are talking to me right now,” he joked via cell phone as he neared a mall in Gaffney, S.C. “I've got some major blisters.”

He kicked off his journey Saturday in Charlotte, the charity's home base. Trekking along back roads to avoid interstate traffic, he and a support team of more than a dozen people have wound through small towns like Blacksburg, S.C., where Ohonme spoke Sunday night at a church.

He'll end his journey Oct. 26 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Samaritan's Feet, through its Web site (www.samaritansfeet.org/worldwalk), is asking citizens worldwide to walk one mile at noon Oct. 25, collecting pledges from well-wishers to help reach the $1 million goal.

People in at least a dozen U.S. cities are participating, Ohonme said, as well as supporters in South Africa, Peru and other countries.

“It's exciting,” he said of the walk. “It's tough. It's gruesome. It's hot. But in the greater scheme of things, these (impoverished) kids have to do this every day. I only have to do it a couple weeks.”