Karen Aston and the women's basketball staff is to coach barefoot for the Mean Green's Jan. 28 game against Arkansas State at the Super Pit. Aston's staff is participating in Samaritan's Feet Barefoot Coaching movement to provide shoes and build awareness for worldwide outreach. Fans and staff are encouraged to come to the game barefoot to support the cause.
Collection boxes for donations will be at entrance gates. Shoe donations will only be accepted if they are new children's shoes. The student body is encouraged to come to the game barefooted to support the cause. During the game, fans can text the word "shoes" to 85944 and a one-time gift of $10 will be added to their next month's bill and an impoverished child will be given a new pair of athletic shoes.
The Barefoot Coaching Movement was conceived in January 2007. In January 2008, IUPUI Men's Basketball Coach Ron Hunter coached a game in his bare feet to raise awareness for the plight of impoverished children who suffer needlessly from foot-borne diseases and infections due to a lack of shoes. This season, Aston joins Hunter and thousands of coaches across the country by going barefoot to raise awareness and funding to help put 1,000,000 pairs of shoes on the feet of children through Samaritan's Feet.
Coach Aston's Samaritan's Feet page can be found here.