Project Description

Omy, the Young Helper

Ten-year-old Omy stood tall and greeted our team in Puerto Rico with a professional handshake as he introduced himself as a helper for the distribution at his school, Escuela de la Comunidad Emilio del Toro, a specialized school in a poor community of San Juan. Omy had been selected by the administrator as one of the top English speakers and would help our team distribute 165 pairs of shoes to the school that day.

But first up, Samaritan’s Feet got to serve Omy. He sat down, and as a team member washed his feet, we all watched his eyes light up as he got a glimpse of his brand new shoes. After a few test jumps in his new kicks, Omy was ready to start spreading that same joy to the rest of the school.

He started as a translator, but his responsibilities began to grow as the team realized how committed he was to helping. He then became a “runner” as he went (in his new shoes) from the wash station to the shoe area to get the correct size shoes for the student being served. He took his job very seriously and carefully selected shoes that would be the perfect fit, both in size and personality. After a break between classes, Omy was so eager to get started again that he carefully watched the door and as soon as the next class came up, he began waving his hands for everyone to see and loudly said “It’s time to get started, the next class is here.”

Omy got it. He realized how special this day was to him and his classmates. It was a day full of opportunities for smiles, sweet memories, joy, care, and encouragement.

“The children are very happy because we are giving them new shoes,” Omy said. Immediately after he said that, he decided he wanted to jump in even more—he was ready to wash the feet of his peers. He casually took a seat and waved that he was ready for a student to sit across from him.

“This is my fourth international trip with Samaritan’s Feet and I have never seen that from a child,” one team member, Jennifer, said.

Omy washed the feet of students older than him, not once intimated by that fact. He was focused on creating a moment of care and kindness as he carefully washed their feet and then placed new shoes and socks on them. The team was in awe of Omy and his willingness to serve. No hesitations, no doubts—just a heart for others.

Omy embodied the spirit of Puerto Rico: compassionate and supportive. When asked what he liked about Puerto Rico he simply answered “everything.” And it truly showed.

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