Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Day without Shoes

    Today, April 5th, marks a day without shoes. This was started by an organization called TOMS Shoes. The organization's goals are to bring awareness to children throughout the world without shoes and for every pair of shoes purchased; a pair is donated to a child in a third world country. TOMS Shoes was started by Blake Mycoskie, who, when traveled to Argentina, realized many of the children there did not have shoes which prevented them from doing basic daily activities. This is when he started the one for one movement. A year later he returned with friends and family bringing 10,000 shoes to give to those in need. Five years later, TOMS Shoes continues to spread.

    I participated in the day without shoes at my high school. Although the day was poorly advertised, I saw numerous students walking around the school without shoes on. Yes, some may think this is gross and diseases can be picked up, however, the idea is for a greater cause. While walking into some classes I would get odd stares and looks asking why I would participate in such a strange event. Students didn't understand that by not wearing shoes myself, I was prompting them to ask questions and hopefully go home to purchase a pair of shoes for themselves. People may have made some rude comments or made ridicule out of me, but I know the action I took was right.

    This morning I truly understood what not wearing shoes felt like. The ground was cold and I was required to walk across rocks to help out with something for one of my classes. To say the least, it hurt. But it brought my focus to the bigger attention. I was no longer just following the crowd, I was suffering for others.

    Some days I wonder what it would be like to deliver shoes to children who have never known of such a thing. I watch the videos on TOMS website, and the videos give me a warm feeling inside. A feeling that, although I am not physically there, I am helping the children who really need it. When reading the statistics on the website and finding out children aren't allowed into school without shoes, the statistics make me even more upset. A simple shoe is preventing hundreds of children from going to school and becoming educated to lead the world, especially in a country in need. Nonetheless, someday I hope to meet Blake Mycoskie and tell him thanks for changing the world and encouraging others to do the same. Most of all, I wish to deliver a load of shoes and meet every child who receives a pair. Their grateful smiles will then be engraved on my heart forever.


To learn more about TOMS Shoes visit their website.

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