One Day Without Shoes is dressing down to spread the word

Have you ever stepped on a nail, walked across gravel barefoot or burnt your feet on the sidewalk on a hot day?

These might seem like minor inconveniences, but for some people they are day to day problems. One Day Without Shoes, a national movement taking place on April 10, is something that Central College students can get involved in.

“Just don’t wear shoes,” explained Central’s ministry team coordinator Nick Rohner, who is organizing One Day Without Shoes at Central. “It’s an easy way to raise awareness about the issue.”

Children are able to support TOMS from a young age. (photo by: Taylor Schuelke)

The movement was started in 2010 by TOMS, a company that gives one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes bought from them.

Central students who already own TOMS shoes support the idea of going without shoes for one day. “I would do it because it makes you realize what other kids have to go through, but they’re in a much worse situation; they go through it every day,” said freshman Kaitlyn Gillett, who owns two pairs of TOMS.

“I don’t own TOMS, but I would do it,” said freshman Conner Currin. “It could be challenging, but it’s a good way to empathize with others.”

TOMS works with established organizations to give shoes responsibly. They are careful not to have negative socioeconomic effects. They also continue to provide new shoes to children so that as their feet grow they do not have to keep wearing the same shoes that are too small.

Students who own TOMS shoes have other reasons to support TOMS as well. “I want to raise awareness around campus that this is happening,” said freshman Isabelle Hicks, who has been helping to spread the word about One Day Without Shoes. “I also want to support TOMS because it’s a great way to get a pair of new spring shoes, while giving to others.”

“I like them because they are comfortable and stylish,” said freshman Jenna Weidman. “I also think after going without shoes you wouldn’t take them for granted.”

Giving shoes is more than a matter of comfort. Shoes prevent health problems caused by diseases and parasites that are transmitted through soil. Shoes are also necessary for many children to attend school.

If you would like more information about TOMS or One Day Without Shoes, Rohner suggests checking out their websites: www.toms.com or www.onedaywithoutshoes.com.