Wesley Korir fitting shoes with the Mission: Feet First charity
Faith and family – and always, always giving back – has been the guiding foundation in life for Emily and Keith Davis, owners of Fleet Feet in both Winston-Salem and Clemmons. Thankfully, their retail business is the perfect platform to serve the community with something everyone needs – shoes!
When they started the business in August of 2006, Emily and Keith were also launching their most important venture – starting a family – and the balancing act was real! But, their steadfast faith in God kept them going – and today, daughters Addison, 16, Hope, 14, and Samantha, 8, have been a part of all their ministry efforts.
“Our kids have been to countless shoe fittings with us and have served with us in Kenya,” shares Emily. “Addison, our oldest, went with us when she was only six, and she will tell you that it changed her life.”
Their hard work and faith has also given them the foundation to establish an incredible outreach program in Kenya, that now has their whole heart. Their next mission trip is scheduled for March of 2024.
“Selling shoes does get old!” says Emily. “We knew there had to be more than that!”
The entire Fleet Feet family discovered their “more” in Kenya – where they have served for the last nine years, building schools and churches, while working closely with International Cooperating Ministries (ICM). Their focus is empowering the youth of Kenya, and helping to “break the cycle” of poverty and homelessness that is so rampant there.
“My heart is for the teenage boys of Kenya. They have no family structure which means they don’t know how to be responsible for themselves,” Emily adds. “They aren’t familiar with family dynamics at all. We aim to teach them to learn a trade, and we strive to teach them family values.”
While we routinely see homeless families and children living in shelters here in our community, in Kenya, they are simply living on the streets – even young children.
Boston Marathon Champion and founder of Transcend Academy in Cherangany, Kenya, Wesley Korir, has also worked with the Davis family during their missions.
“Emily and Keith have used their resources and business skills to invest in the needs of Kenyan youth,” Wesley shares. “They led the campaign to build a school building for Transcend, and through their contacts in the Winston-Salem community, they have opened doors for Kenyan youth at Forsyth Country Day School. They see the needs of the world, and they take action.”
Emily tells of a sermon from their family pastor recently, noting the importance of finding a way to “do good for others” in whatever role you find yourself in every single day. That includes being strategic and intentional about how you carry out God’s mission.
“That’s the message Keith, our daughters and I hope to share most,” she says. “You can give back – even if it’s in some small capacity – through the job you find yourself in every day. It takes creativity and maybe getting outside your comfort zone – but you can do it, too!”
Since 2010, Emily and Keith have continued their Mission: Feet First initiative – for homeless and low-income school children in Forsyth County, and also for prisoners – and they have outfitted thousands of feet with much-needed shoes through the years. They also opened their beautiful Clemmons location in December of 2022.
Learning how to make faith a large part of their business is something the Davis family works hard at every day. Fleet Feet also works with Bright Beginnings at the YMCA, and recently sponsored a 5K race for local prisoners – boosting spirits and confidence in those who may need it most.
And, the Winston-Salem community is grateful.
“Partnerships are vital for the YMCA,” says Joe Peele, District Vice-President of YMCA Northwest North Carolina. “Partnering with Fleet Feet is natural, as we both have similar missions of helping and serving all the people in our community. Emily and Keith have set a high bar for just that – serving the community through their business. Their shoe contributions to our annual Bright Beginnings program transformed our ability to provide great footwear to hundreds of kids this year. We are so grateful for their partnership.”
John Greer of New Balance Athletics, Inc. echoes those sentiments: “One of the many things I appreciate about Fleet Feet Winston-Salem is the amount of time and energy they invest in serving the Winston-Salem community. Keith and Emily have big hearts and want to see others improve the quality of their lives. That might be by them putting on races, giving a pair of shoes or simply a big hug. Their Mission: Feet First outreach shows how much they care about the needs of Winston-Salem. I’ve spent time serving with them fitting shoes in the community, and it’s both contagious and inspiring!”
What would please Emily and Keith like nothing else is for all of us to take a moment and consider learning how we can give back through our daily jobs, as well!
Fleet Feet Winston-Salem is located at 278 Harvey Street in Hanestowne Village Shopping Center, 336.722.8477. Hours are Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., and Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and at 6339 Jessie Lane in Clemmons, 336.293.8660. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram @Fleetfeetws. Learn more about their running gear, fit process and fitness inspiration at Fleetfeetws.com.