(WBIR - Knoxville) A group of East Tennesseans are trying to make a difference for those suffering on the other side of the world.
About 400 people took to the track at Vine Middle School and walked or ran three miles for the nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped by terrorists from school in April and have been held captive ever since.
Lynda Neman of Knoxville said, "People are being persecuted and they need to be freed from the grasp of these people. And it's wrong."
LeSean Steward of Knoxville said, "I not only love God, but I'm a mother and I couldn't imagine my children being abducted, terrorized, or any of the things that have happened to the children."
As the group journeyed 13 laps, several local faith leaders prayed for the girls' release.
Reverend Harold Middlebrook said, "I'm always convinced that prayer is important. God has a marvelous way of hearing His people when they pray."
State Representative Joe Armstrong said, "I'm proud of what's going on here. I'm proud of what our men of faith and our churches are coming together to do."
After the group finished their miles, they each took off the shoes they walked in and put them in bags. Those shoes and many others donated will be given to Nigerians in need.
Pastor Daryl Arnold said, "Nigeria, in some places, is extremely poor. I just left there three months ago and saw tons of people without shoes and so I said we need to do something about it."
Shoe donations are still being accepted at WJBE Radio (2340 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, Knoxville).
Pastor Arnold said while the group of East Tennesseans were walking, the same was happening in Wilmington NC, Huntsville, AL, indianapolis, IN, Chicago, IL, Buffalo, NY, Atlanta, GA, and Chattanooga, TN.