Go barefoot on April 10th to spread awareness. Photo credit: http://www.onedaywithoutshoes.com/

Tomorrow is April 10th and if you can’t stand the sight of people’s bare feet, you might want to stay inside for the day. You see, tomorrow is TOMS’ annual One Day Without Shoes event. For the 5th successive year, hundreds of thousands of people around the globe will ditch their shoes and go about life barefoot. If you happen to be around town, and especially if you happen to be on a college campus, you will likely see some of these individuals who are willing to forgo their Nikes, UGGs, Vans and Converse for 24 hours.

Now that you’ve been warned about the potential glimpses of bare feet you might see tomorrow, you may be wondering why on earth people would want to go without shoes in the middle of April? Well, here’s the reason: because millions of people don’t even get to choose whether they wear shoes or not! Millions of children all over the world don’t own any shoes at all, and thus have no choice but to walk barefoot over disease ridden, debris filled, and parasite infested ground every day. In fact, according to the One Day Without Shoes website, “4,000,000 people have Podoconiosis, a debilitating and disfiguring soil-based disease. 740,000,000 people are affected by hookworm which can cause intestinal pain, weakness and cognitive impairment.” And in just one case study done in the Philippines 30,000 people were discovered living on one landfill where their feet are constantly exposed to broken glass, debris and syringes.

How does a bunch of people who do have shoes leaving them in their closets for a day help people who don’t have any shoes? To be perfectly honest, it doesn’t. Not directly at least. What it does do, however, is generate conversation. Conversation about a problem in the world which can, in turn, inspire action. That is the goal of One Day Without Shoes, inspire people to act and make the world a better place. So, tomorrow, whether you choose to go without shoes or not, spend some time reflecting on some problem in the world, and think about what you can do to help solve it.

For more information about One Day Without Shoes check out www.onedaywithoutshoes.com

For more information about TOMS Shoes go to www.toms.com

–Ambassador Ryan