Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Day Without Shoes

When I was in Honduras, I met a little boy and girl - brother and sister - who couldn't have been much older than seven or eight.  I was talking to them one morning and, as they walked away, I noticed that only the girl was wearing shoes.  I pointed it out to the director of the mission I was visiting and he told me that a lot of siblings in that town had to share shoes - their parents could not afford to buy them each a pair.  The kids would just switch throughout the day.

I don't know what was more heartbreaking to me.  The fact that two children were forced to share one pair of shoes or the fact that the shoes they were sharing were a worn-through pair of $2 Old Navy flip flops.  I own SIX PAIRS of Old Navy flip flops.  Those TWO children were sharing ONE pair.  A pair that was so dirty and worn that they might as well have not been wearing anything at all.

Yes, it is important for children in developing countries to have access to food, clean drinking water and healthcare.  But it is equally important for children to have shoes to protect their feet from bacteria and parasites that can get into their blood stream through cuts and scrapes.

A few days ago, Sara introduced me to TOMS Shoes, a shoe company that donates one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes that they sell.  They aren't so much a company as they are a movement.

Tomorrow TOMS is encouraging people to go a day - or even part of the day - without wearing shoes.  By choosing to walk barefoot together, we will walk in solidarity with those around the world who do not have that choice.

Learn more about the movement here.

Tomorrow, I will not be wearing shoes.  Will you?


  1. Isn't TOMS shoes amazing. My friends in Texas have Toms shoes parties and people come, buy shoes and decorate them and just have a great time knowing they are helping kids around the world get nice, new shoes.

  2. I love Toms. They are really comfy shoes and what a great cause. What a great thing to and justice! Tomorrow is a great idea. I'm hoping to go barefoot at least for a little but I need to be dressed up for a while. Enjoy!

  3. I'd like to try not wearing shoes at West Point you think they'll mind? And is the shoes that we saw sold at Whole Foods? That's a great cause in any case!


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