Ron Hunter, the head men's basketball coach at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, coached a game against Oakland University barefoot On January 24, 2008. He did this to benefit Samaritans Feet, a foundation that donates shoes to people who cannot afford them. Before tipoff, over 110,000 pairs of shoes (nearly $20,000) had been donated.
His initial goal was to collect 40,000 pairs in honor of the 40th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But he didn’t expect to almost triple the number.
Hunter was present at a number of ESPN shows, and secured donations of thousands of shoes from Converse, Nine West, Wal-Mart and the Department of Homeland Security.
Some of Hunter's players will join him on a summer trip to Cameroon that will provide many families with such luxury as shoes.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969