Texas medical student gives back to community with free shoes through nonprofit

Dayna's Footprints has donated over 1,000 pairs of shoes.

December 23, 2023, 11:21 AM

Texas Christian University Medical School student Sam Sayed said one of his fondest memories growing up was when his late sister, Dayna, bought him and his brother Sharif a pair of new Nike shoes.

"When you put them on, you walked out of the door to go to school -- you just felt like a better person," Sayed told "GMA 3."

Soon after that moment, Dayna Sayed was killed in a drive-by shooting in Arlington, Texas, he said.

Sam Sayed said he has always wanted to honor his sister and that moment. So he and his brother started a nonprofit in her name that aims to recreate that memory for kids looking for a great shoe.

Sam Sayed greets kids at a shoe store.
ABC News

The brothers have raised more than $100,000 and bought more than 1,000 pairs of shoes for kids -- and sometimes their parents -- in North Texas since Dayna's Footprints was founded five years ago.

Sam Sayed started by going back to his elementary school in Arlington and giving out the shoes. He has now branched out to several communities in Fort Worth.

He recently met with some of those recipients at a Fort Worth shoe store, Locals Only, and many of the kids were delighted to get their new footwear.

"How do they make you feel?" ABC News' Mireya Villarreal asked 17-year-old Amari when he got his new shoes.

"Like I got a little power," he said.

Sam Sayed greets kids as they receive their shoes.
ABC News

Michael Rose, a father of eight, told "GMA 3" he was grateful for the nonprofit's generosity as it is hard for him to provide for his family.

"It made me cry because it was like no one has ever just reached out in the midst of me going through stuff and just offered to help," he said.

Sam Sayed said that this emotion is something that he is studying as part of his school's "Empathetic Scholar" program. The program allows future physicians to spend time in underserved communities and improve the community relations between doctors and patients.

Sam Sayed speaks with "GMA3."
ABC News

"I've always maintained that once I become a physician, it's not my job just to wait for patients to come to me. The most important thing to me is to get to know them in their environment and know them before they need me," Sam Sayed said.