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ATLANTA - After kicking off the Barefoot Madness, 30 Days Until Tip-off program with Samaritan's Feet just a few weeks ago, Georgia State men's basketball coach Ron Hunter sent his first shipment of shoes to the organization on Wednesday. With the help of Georgia State Athletics, Hunter shipped more than 50 pairs of new shoes and cleats to the organization to help children without shoes around the world.

"I am very thankfully to Georgia State for helping me on this partnership," commented Hunter. "This donation is a great start and very much appreciated. I hope that the community will get behind us as well as we try to help the millions of children around the world who are not nearly as fortunate as we are."

The donation comes on the heels of the launch of the Barefoot Madness, 30 Days Until Tip-off program. The program will officially begin on Sept. 15, but supporters can start to donate Barefoot Madness program now through Coach Hunter's own fundraising page. The goal is to raise more than $10,000, which will allow Samaritan's Feet to buy 1000 new shoes and socks before the Panthers begin practice on Oct. 15.

Donations started to come in immediately and will help Samaritan's Feet in their goal of giving 10 million pairs of shoes to 10 million children in 10 years.

Along with raising funds for new shoes for children throughout the world, the goal of the campaign is to get people excited about the 2011-12 Georgia State basketball season which will be Coach Hunter's first at the helm.

Georgia State will serve as the leader for the Barefoot Madness program, however, with the help of Samaritan's Feet, it is expected to grow as other Division I coaches jump on board.

The campaign continues an effort by Coach Hunter and Samaritan's Feet to provide shoes to children throughout the world. It will also get college basketball fans excited for the upcoming season, which is now only two months away.

Plans are in the works for Hunter to a tradition he started in 2008 by coaching a game barefoot this January. That game will be announced once the conference portion of Georgia State's schedule is announced.

In addition, he will be taking the basketball team into the Atlanta community to serve 250 impoverished children this winter. GSU will be working with Samaritan's Feet to identify the children who need the help the most. 

Supporters interesting in helping Coach Hunter and Samaritan's Feet reach their goals can click here.

The Georgia State men's basketball team will begin the 2011-12 regular season on Nov. 12 at the Basketball Travelers Invitational in Seattle, Wash.

--GeorgiaStateSports.com--