Rockford hospital provides foot care to homeless on Holy Thursday

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - In honor of Holy Thursday, one area hospital is taking a step in the right direction to help the homeless, by holding an event to provide foot care new gym shoes.

"The shoes feel great and I was really happy I was able to participate,” said Shaymon Thomas, who received foot care.

Thomas along with more than 60 other people received free foot care and new shoes, something Thomas says she desperately needed.

"My feet do have some problems where I tried to see a podiatrist in the past but because of issues with medical and things like that I wasn't able to get the care I needed," Thomas said.

OSF Saint Anthony joined forces with Carpenter's Place for Holy Thursday, a day that commemorates the last supper.

"We decided on Holy Thursday and that we would do a washing of the feet,” said OSF Podiatry Resident Brittany Wojnicki.

Wojnicki says many of these people's feet are their only mode of transportation, so keeping them healthy and in proper shoes is important.

“We actually bought 75 pairs of shoes on our own at Payless. People probably thought we were crazy because we were just grabbing shoes off the shelf,” Wojnicki said.

Wojnicki says it was worth it because the reactions were unforgettable.

"There was a person who came up to us and said this was their first new pair of shoes they ever had in their whole life," Wojnicki said.

"My other shoes weren't supportive at all. I got them for close to nothing at Goodwill so that caused some problems, but I got that fixed today and it was totally awesome,” Thomas said.

Doctors at the event hope by providing these services it will also help the homeless community better their overall lives.

The event was a partnership between Carpenter’s Place, OrthoIllinois, podiatry residents at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, and volunteers with Field Fastener and Beef-A-Roo.