SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - An annual event to wash the feet of those in need has brightened the lives of about 150 people today in Santa Barbara.
This is Holy Thursday also known as Maundy Thursday, just days before Easter. Different denominations recognize this as a symbol of the time when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples prior to the Last Supper.
The Willbridge organization invited anyone living on the streets, or in poverty, to come out for a foot washing, a medical checkup and a meal. Each person was also given new socks, and shoes. made possible by either donations or with a purchase by Willbridge.
The event was held at the Veteran's Memorial Building on the Santa Barbara waterfront.
Outside there was also a free portable shower set up.
Those getting their feet washed said it was rejuvenating, not just for their ankles and toes but their entire bodies.
Willbridge had volunteers ready to go at 8 a.m. and washed feet until 1 p.m.
Those attending also spent time at tables, eating a light breakfast with coffee, rolls, and fruit.
Many left behind the shoes they came in with, and walked out with a new pair. Some of the construction type boots were carried out for another day.
Organizers bought the most common sizes based on last years demands. Rarely do they have someone with a special need or extra large foot, so almost everyone attending is served.
Some of the recipients described how difficult is has been living on the streets, and how fast their shoes wear out. They also have leg pains when they are in the wrong shoes too long.
The Willbridge organization serves all chronically homeless, with special services specifically for women, those who are abused, neglected and in need of services to help with sobriety and addictions.
To volunteer or donation you can get more information at: http://www.willbridgesb.org/