Today, April 10, 2012 is officially being called “One Day Without Shoes” to raise awareness of the millions of children around the world who do not have adequate footwear and the terrible injury and disease they encounter as a result.
Ironically, I debated first thing this morning whether I could actually go to my morning appointment at a local coffee shop without my shoes on. I know the rule in the US is no shoes, no shirt, no service and of course I’ve lived my whole life accustomed to walking beyond my home with shoes on. In the end, I decided to wear my shoes but I did discuss the One Day Without Shoes project with my colleague and good friend Eric Winger who ironically is also a daily “mitzvah” man himself.
The rest of the day I spent at home with my two teenage children who were home sick from school today. Towards evening, I took the dog for a walk and discussed with them the idea of going barefoot for my walk in honor of One Day without Shoes. My daughter was adamant that I shouldn’t go for a walk without my shoes. “What if you step on glass or hurt your toes since they aren’t used to exposure to the elements” she asked. I figure that this is the exact reason we were encouraged to go barefoot today. To discuss, what it means to have inadequate or no proper shoes.
Americans are shoe crazy. Both women and men love their shoes. When I googled, “How many shoes does the average American woman own?” The answer was a range between 20-60 pairs. This includes three pairs of heels, six pairs of flip-flops, sandals, ballet pumps or wedges, three pairs of boots and four pairs of fancy shoes for girls nights out. Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with shoes, with a size 8E foot, I have struggled my whole life to find shoes that are comfortable and fit properly. Still I do have more than the bottom of the average range because when I find shoes that actually fit I buy them.
So today’s effort by Toms to create One Day without Shoes was a brilliant opportunity for all of us to realize there are other human beings who don’t even have what we consider our basic and “average” right.
Here are a couple of great resources that can help you donate shoes: Shoes4Souls or Toms Shoes.
Visit one of the organizations that collects money and shoes for children around the world and donate to make a difference for this very important causes and spread the word.