Tuesday, April 5, 2011

.one day without shoes.

.one day without shoes.  Today I am joining TOMS, and thousands of others, to raise awareness of the impact a pair of shoes can have on a child's life, & a persons life, by taking off my own.  It is part of TOMS One Day Without Shoes movement.  Thats right, I am not wearing shoes for the whole day (except in buildings where they are required).  And today is not a stay at home day for me, needless to say - I think I will be challenged, especially with this Wisconsin weather. 
Last year over 250,000 people went without shoes to give a voice to those who don't have a choice.  There were over 1,600 events held.  This year One Day Without Shoes is even bigger and there are many more people who are taking their shoes off too!  Click here to find an event.
I feel called to join TOMS for many different reasons.  One of the biggest being my future child or children's families might be without right now, this very moment.  In Ethiopia approximately one million people are suffering from Podoconiosis, a debilitating and disfiguring disease caused by walking barefoot in volcanic soil. My child's birth family might be without and that makes my heart ache.  
Another reason I  am taking my shoes off today is because I want to put myself in another persons shoes.... or situation.  I can't imagine not having the choice of wearing shoes.  In my life the hardest decision I have about shoes is which ones to put on *(and I don't even own that many.... let me count.... 25).  Not going to school, or anywhere else, because I don't have any shoes has never crossed my mind.  So today I am taking mine off to see how shoes really impact my life.  
*I counted all my shoes and I have 25, that included sandals, dress shoes, and boots.... I am a little shocked that I have that many - I wear two different pairs on a regular basis during the winter and I wear another 3 regularly during the summer. After looking at them all, I think I am going to donate the ones I never wear.
A third reason I am taking my shoes off are because of these beautiful faces - they are the faces of children who on a day to day basis go without shoes (they have some shoes as shown in the last picture, but many in that orphanage do not).  These children are also some of the most beautiful souls I have ever met.  I have the opportunity to speak up for them, so that is what I am doing today, would you consider joining me and raising awareness?  Even if it's only for an hour.... even for 10 minutes.  .one day without shoes.
One Day Without Shoes is about raising awareness so that we can help others.  TOMS donates one pair of shoes per every pair bought.  However we all, like me, have extras in our closets.  We all also can most likely afford to buy a pair and donate them to any shoe drive.  This is not just about TOMS shoes, it is about getting shoes on people feet no matter what organization you go through.  
Some Additional Facts:
In many developing countries children must walk barefoot for miles to school, clean water, and medical help.

Hundreds of millions of children are at risk of injury, infection & soil-transmitted diseases that most can't affort to prevent and treat.

Children who are healthy are more likely to be successful students, and access to education is a critical determinant of long-term success.

Healthy, educated children have a better chance of improving the future of their entire community.

In certain regions of Ethiopia, wearing shoes and practicing good hygiene can prevent podconiosis, a disease that causes swelling of the feet and legs due to prolonged exposure to irritant soil.  In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, TOMS works with HIV positive and street children, giving shoes to protect them from the dangerous city streets littered with glass, metal, and even sewage.

*All facts in this blog post are straight from TOMS & One Day Without Shoes websites.


Anonymous said...

This is awesome! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

The Blackburn Buzz said...

Awesome! Missed seeing you guys this weekend.