The thought of spending a day without shoes at Warren County High School may sound disgusting to some students. But they will get the chance to do just that Tuesday when the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes sponsors a local version of a global event.
It’s called One Day Without Shoes and the goal is to raise awareness of the impact shoes, or the lack thereof, can have on a child’s life.
“I’ve heard some people say they’re not walking down those nasty halls without shoes,” said Joanna Paz, one of the WCHS students who pushed to get the day implemented. “And I’ve heard other people say they are certainly not walking in the bathroom without shoes. But that’s nothing compared to what some people have to go through. If you can experience some of what they have to experience, for just one day, it will give you a better understanding of it.”
A company named Toms is the top cheerleader behind the One Day Without Shoes movement. Toms is famous for its one-for-one business model where one pair of shoes is donated for every pair purchased, and one pair of eyeglasses is donated for every pair of sunglasses purchased.
According to Toms, there were over 1,000 events in 25 countries where people went without shoes last year. This will be the first year for the event at WCHS. The day is recognized nationally April 10.
“We tried to get it started last year, but we were told there were health issues,” said Megan Dishman, another student organizer.
Principal Anthony Cassel was receptive to the idea when it was presented this year so it was allowed to be observed, the girls say.
“There are millions of children who don’t have shoes who have to walk miles,” said Paz.
Added Dishman, “This will give us a chance to experience what they experience.”
Toms says millions of children worldwide live without shoes, which exposes them to injury and illness. The idea behind the day is to produce positive change.
In addition to going without shoes, there will be drop-off points at WCHS on Tuesday so students can help by either donating a new pair of shoes or donating money. The new shoes will be kept locally to help members of the community in need. The money will be sent to Uganda to help people in Africa in need.