One day without shoes

Abby Colella
Features Writer

 

On April 10, 2012, people will be doing a strange thing: they will be walking around campus without shoes on. If you are confused, let me explain.

In 2008, TOMS, a company that donates a pair of shoes to a person in need with every pair purchased, initiated One Day Without Shoes.

Last year on April 8, 250,000 people across the planet participated by going without shoes for a day.

Let’s back up a little bit. Why on earth would we want to go without shoes? Why would anyone? Here are some facts to give you a new perspective. According to the Ahadi Kenyan Trust, 30,000 people live in just one landfill in the Philippines. Children who live in this landfill walk over syringes, broken glass and debris each day.

In Kenya, 1,890,000 children are infected with jiggers. Jiggers are small burrowng fleas that cause painful lesions. 4,000,000 people have podoconiosis, an unbearable and disfiguring disease caused by living barefoot in volcanic soil.

Dr. Gail Davey says 740,000,000 people are infected by hookworm, a soil-transmitted parasite that can cause intestinal pain, weakness and cognitive impairment.

Surely Samford students can go one day without wearing shoes. Sure, it is kind of gross, you may step in something nasty, and it may even be a bit painful; but the next day, we have the option of putting our shoes back on. People around the world do not have that choice.

Let’s take off our shoes to raise awareness for the millions of children who go without shoes every day.

Every morning when we put shoes on our feet, we take those shoes for granted. For spring break this year, I traveled to Jacmel, Haiti on a mission trip. I saw a few people, both children and adults, wearing TOMS, but I saw countless more people walking without shoes in the garbage and sewage-strewn streets.

Imagine walking out the door of Vail, Smith or any dormitory on campus and stepping in human waste and month old rotting garbage. I am sure it would not be a pleasant experience. As privileged Americans, we do not understand all that shoes provide.

In a third-world country, shoes can insure better health: millions of children are at risk of injury, disease and soil-transmitted diseases.

Shoes can insure more education: in some areas, shoes are required for children to attend school. Shoes can provide more opportunities: children who are healthy are more likely to be successful students according to onedaywithoutshoes.com.

Shoes are so much more than a fashion accessory.

You may be thinking, “If I go without shoes, what difference will it make?”

Going without shoes stirs up curiosity, which in turn strikes up conversation. That conversation may lead to action, and action leads to change.

You may feel like not wearing shoes will not change the world, but you have the chance to raise awareness for those who can not wear shoes. By raising awareness, people will become informed about the mission of TOMS, buy a pair of shoes, and the life of a child somewhere in a third-world-country will be changed.

So, come on Samford. Let’s go without shoes. If the whole campus becomes involved, we can all make a difference. Let April 10, 2012 be the day we spread awareness of the impact a pair of shoes can have on a child’s life by taking off our own.

For more information, visit http://www.onedaywithoutshoes.com/

 

 

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