In America, most children are blessed with a roof over their heads and shoes on their feet; however, in certain countries there are many children who are forced to walk around barefoot in tough environments every day at the risk of getting sick or potentially hurting themselves.
On April 5, you can raise awareness to what these children live through every day by experiencing it yourself through TOMS Shoes’ event, One Day Without Shoes.
For countries like Ethiopia, wearing shoes is part of a daily hygienic ritual that families cannot practice, making them susceptible to diseases such as Podoconiosis.
“[Podoconiosis is] a disease that causes swelling of the feet and legs due to prolonged exposure to irritant soil,” TOMS website states.
The company has been working to provide shoes for all of the underprivileged children of the world. With each new purchase of TOMS Shoes, they give a pair of shoes away to a child in need. On April 5, TOMS is calling all customers and friends to go a day without their shoes in order to start a conversation and spark inspiration in those who are unaware of the cause.
A simple supportive shoe can stop the spread of such a painful disease. Along with irritants in soil, TOMS also works with the kids on the street, giving them shoes so they do not cut their feet on all of the litter—glass, metal and other waste—that covers the sidewalks and streets in their country.
TOMS believes that shoes not only help kids stay healthy, but that health is directly correlated with success and education.
“Children who are healthy are more likely to be successful students, and access to education is a critical determinant of long-term success,” the website states.
When a child stays healthy long enough to attend school and get the education they deserve, they help form a brighter and successful tomorrow.
A couple of students agree that “One Day Without Shoes,” is a noble cause, but are unsure about participating.
“I don’t like walking without shoes,” Dijohn Henry, freshman chemistry major, said. “It seems like a good idea. A lot of people would notice.”
“It is a good way to raise awareness,” Chyna Williford, freshman nursing major, said. “I think people will see but won’t take part. It’s unsanitary but shows what these kids deal with every day.”
Mary-Kate Hayes, junior fine arts major, is eager about this cause.
“I have participated for the last two years,” she said. “I really enjoy supporting their mission and what they stand for.”
Hayes said some professors might disagree with her being barefoot, but she will try to make this her third year.
David Moore, freshman biology major, feels this is a good cause to bring to light.
“How would you feel if you didn’t have shoes?” Moore said.
Visit www.onedaywithoutshoes.com for more information.