While you may be unaware that April 16, 2013 has been dubbed “One Day without Shoes” day, many others will be dancing in the streets…without their shoes. Why? To raise awareness that children around the world need shoes. With the entire world’s other needs right now, providing shoes may not seem that important, but people behind TOMS Shoes, a new set of kickers can help improve health, education and self-esteem.
|Blake Mycoskie, TOMS Founder and Chief Shoe Giver|
The first One Day Without Shoes event was “kicked off” in 2008 when college students accepted the challenge to go shoeless. Since then, the annual event has grown beyond anyone’s imagination. Some may think it is strange that a Shoe company is actually encouraging its clients to go without, but that is just one way TOMS is different from many other companies.
|Partners in Health has been a TOMS Shoe Giving Partner|
TOMS was founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie who was inspired by a missions trip to Argentina. According to the company’s website, Blake witnessed extreme poverty and bad health conditions, not to mention many children walking around without shoes. He noticed that the traditional Argentine alpargata shoe was a simple, yet revolutionary solution. He reinvented the alpargata for the U.S. market with one basic commitment: “With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need.” They call this “One for One.”
During the company’s first year, TOMS sold over 10,000 pairs of shoes. Since then, TOMS has created numerous styles (and many knock-offs from other companies) for men, women and of course, children.
To participate in ODWS, here is all you need to do:
1. Go through the whole day without wearing shoes.
2. When someone asks you why, tell them:
A. Shoes help protect from cuts, diseases and soil-based infection that affect 740 million people worldwide.
B. Providing school uniforms with shoes to children can increase attendance up to 62% in needy countries.
C. Meeting the basic needs of children can increase confidence and self-esteem.
You can find out more by watching the attached video, visiting ODWS website or the TOMS Shoes website.