Coach goes barefoot to help students in need

WEST COLUMBIA (WACH) -- When you get dressed every day you probably put on your shoes without thinking twice. For millions of children that's a luxury they don't have. A coach in the Midlands is taking steps to make sure those kids don't have to go barefoot ever again.

Glenforest School basketball coach William Knopf greeted parents barefoot Thursday morning.

"My feet are very cold but yes they are bare," he said.

As parents dropped off their kids for school, many handed over new shoes to support a charity called Samaritan's Feet.

The coach is passionate about that cause. Nearly 300 million children in the world go barefoot everyday, and Knapf is trying to change that.

"There are children here in our counties in South Carolina that they don't get to choose which shoes they wear and many kids die each day from foot born diseases so it gives opportunity to raise awareness for that as well," he adds.

For the past several years the basketball coach has taken his lessons off the court and into every day life, leading students in a service project to benefit the charity. Parent Robin Major stopped by to donate shoes.

"It's been such a great program providing shoes for kids around the world and it sets such a good example for kids here at Glenforest our future leaders," says Major.

Last year, Knopf coached the final 13 games of the year barefoot. This season he has coached every game without shoes and is drawing up an even more aggressive game plan for success.

"I've sent a challenge out to all public school and private school basketball coaches to actually go barefoot tomorrow night...I don't know how many people will get involved...but if just one more coach around the state decides to take their shoes off tomorrow they can make a difference," he says.

Knopf will walk more than seven miles barefoot Friday from Brittons on Devine Street to a basketball game at Glenforest.

Click here to watch an interview with coach William Knopf.