Today I am barefoot.
I will go through my school day without shoes, including trips to public bathrooms and college dining halls.
I will get gas this afternoon and probably cringe as I carefully step around the spilled gasoline on the ground.
I will spend One Day Without Shoes.
But then tonight, I will take a hot shower and wash my dirty feet.
I will eat a full, satisfying dinner.
I will get a good night's rest in my own comfy and cozy bed.
And tomorrow? I will put on my shoes and go about my day.
I am lucky. WE are lucky.
Children all over the world don't get the luxury of a pair of shoes.
They deal with pain, injury, and disease as a result of the barefoot life they have to endure.
They are often excluded from school when they don't have shoes.
This leads to a never-ending cycle of poverty and pain.
My One Day Without Shoes may not mean much to many people.
My two bare feet may not make a huge impact.
But if I convince one person to try going barefoot, that makes four bare feet, and possibly a new TOMS Shoes owner.
For every pair purchased, another pair is given to a child in need.
A child that spends EVERY DAY Without Shoes.
One For One.
This movement is so much bigger than me, bigger than you.
It's bigger than any small thing we can contribute.
It's bigger than 24 hours of bare feet.
I am called to serve. To do for others. To give my time and my voice.
Today I will give my feet.
"They embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment -- a moment that will define a generation -- it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all."
-President Barack Obama
I encourage you to go barefoot all day if you are able to do so.
Help me spread the word about the impact that a single pair of shoes can have on a child's life.
Some Additional Facts:
In many developing countries children must walk barefoot for miles to school, clean water, and medical help.
Hundreds of millions of children are at risk of injury, infection & soil-transmitted diseases that most can't affort to prevent and treat.
Children who are healthy are more likely to be successful students, and access to education is a critical determinant of long-term success.
Healthy, educated children have a better chance of improving the future of their entire community.
In certain regions of Ethiopia, wearing shoes and practicing good hygiene can prevent podconiosis, a disease that causes swelling of the feet and legs due to prolonged exposure to irritant soil. In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, TOMS works with HIV positive and street children, giving shoes to protect them from the dangerous city streets littered with glass, metal, and even sewage.