The Official Global Movement to Raise Shoe Awareness
By Juliette Anderson
Toms sponsored a "One Day without Shoes" day to raise awareness about poverty Tuesday April 5th. Photo by Daven Hines.
Tuesday April 5, people all over the world took off their shoes and walked around barefoot. This event, One Day without Shoes, began with shoe company TOMS as a way to raise awareness and hopefully bring about social change.
American traveler Blake Mycoskie began TOMS in 2006 after visiting Argentina and finding that children there had no shoes to protect their feet. TOMS was created in hopes to help these children.
The company does this by matching every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need in one of the 23 developing countries that TOMS sponsors. As of September 2010, TOMS has given over one million pairs of new shoes to children in need through Giving Partners around the world.
Because of such an amazing response, Mycoskie wanted to continue his work by not only helping people get shoes but also raising awareness to the fact that not everyone has something as simple as shoes.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Mycoskie stated that One Day without Shoes serves as, “a chance to do something very simple – take off your shoes to create a lot of awareness and a lot of social change.”
The movement has certainly grown over the years. Last year over 250,000 activists participated in over 1,600 events taking place worldwide. Many notable celebrities also support the event like Sara Bareilles, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Kristen Bell, Demi Moore and Brittany Snow.
Students around the world take part in the event at a variety of schools and universities, but each school board reacts differently. While some see it as a positive expression of activism, others insist that students should express such concerns outside of school.
According to Sonoma High School’s student website, senior student Austin Rose and six other students were sent home and given detentions for refusing to put on shoes. Though many students at Dominican High School enjoy wearing TOMS products, they waited until after school to express their support.
Senior Emma Logman walked to the mall after school barefoot to show her support, and junior Abel Serna, who loves TOMS shoes, insisted that even though he forgot about the event this year, he would be sure to participate next year because of “such an amazing and easy way to raise awareness to such a serious yet little known issue.”