It’s not book related, but I wanted to share one of my favorite activities with you. Every year the gang at TOMS Shoes holds “One Day Without Shoes.” I love being involved, but thanks to a doctor who doesn’t think it’s a great idea while pregnant, I won’t be an active participant this year. I’ll blog about last year’s great experience while on vacation, and I’ll try doing as much as possible without shoes if I’m out on the 5th of April.
Why go without shoes? To bring to light a huge epidemic in our world. A lack of shoes. Yeah, I hear a lot of people questioning why this is an epidemic unless you’re a woman whose best friend is the Dillard’s Shoe Department. If only it was that simple.
Shoes are the most important things in the world. Imagine living in a developing country where there is no sanitation. The ground is covered with feces, soil with diseases, mud, used medical supplies, urine (human and animal), glass, sharp metal and other bits of trash. Rocks so sharp they can cut your feet are scattered all over the ground. And you have to walk miles upon miles to find clean water, medical help, food, and if you’re lucky go to school. (Oh, and you don’t have the money or means to prevent or treat any disease you get from your walk.)
Imagine walking being harmful to your health. Podoconiosis shows up from being exposed to an irritant soil, usually volcanic soil, day after day. Your feet and legs swell to the point they look like they belong on an elephant. Don’t click this link if you are easily offended, but Wikipedia has pictures of people suffering from Podoconiois. Imagine being a child and living with the disease.
The worst thing is Podoconiosis is 100% preventable! How can you keep yourself safe and healthy? Shoes! I’m not kidding. All it takes is simply wearing a pair of shoes and you can’t get this horrible disease. It’s not the only disease one can get due to a lack of shoes, especially in developing countries.
How can you help? Glad you asked. First, tell everyone you know about how important shoes are in daily life. A great way to get the message across is One Day Without Shoes. Even if you go for just an hour without shoes people will ask you lots of questions. Check out the website and participate in a community event with other concerned people going without shoes for children around the world.
Get online! Spread the message to your buddies via Twitter, Facebook, and your blog. Email your friends and families. Blog or microblog about your day without shoes. I’m really thinking of doing some shopping without shoes, even if the doctor is against the idea. Pregnant women in developing countries and in parts of the US can’t afford shoes to protect them and their fetuses. Why can’t I do a few minutes in a parking lot without a pair of shoes on my feet?
Get the kit from TOMS! It’s free, and the graphics are really, really, really cool. Besides, you really wanted a new graphic for your Facebook account and your Twitter account. Oh, and there are widgets for your blog, too.
Go a day without shoes! I thought I knew what life without shoes would be like before I participated last year. Turns out life isn’t all that great, especially when your grandma’s yard is filled with poky plants, not nice soft grass. If for some reason you think going without shoes makes you look crazy, go to TOMS and buy a flag. (It’s $5 off the website.) Buy a necklace, and TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a kiddo. (Which means for $28 you get a necklace and that great feeling of giving the gift of a healthy life to a kiddo.) By a t-shirt, and the gang at TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a kiddo. Or create your own t-shirt with the stencils online. I’ll be in my really cool Threadless t-shirt from last year. (Assuming it still fits, or I’m going with my TOMS shirt from 2 years back. Get your friends involved and create an event. Heck, TOMS even created a letter for you to use. They believe in making it easy.
And when it’s all done, and you really want to slip back into your shoes, don’t let it stop there. Tell your friends and family and your online community what you did during your day. Let them know how living without shoes changed your life. Pass the word on that shoes are one of the easiest ways to stop diseases.
PS: Can you tell this is one cause that’s really close to my heart?