GASTONIA, N.C. – Several local school kids received a big surprise from a Panthers star Tuesday morning.
Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith, along with dozens of volunteers, were on hand at Ryne Elementary in Gastonia as part of a special non-profit program called Samaritan's Feet.
About 450 students at the school got their feet washed by volunteers, including Smith. They also got new athletic socks and shoes and backpacks filled with school supplies. It’s all part of a Back To Basics program that helps under-privileged kids.
Smith said he gives back because he can relate to these kids.
"A kid like myself with sometimes my mom making the decision between basic necessities of shoes...of having to make that choice between the light bill and the shoe bill—I understand that,” Smith said. “Just because I play football doesn't mean I'm out of touch with that."
Smith’s visit was a total surprise for the kids. They had no idea about the shoes or the wide receiver. The Carolina Panthers also provided games for the kids.