Buena Vista University students are hosting a barefoot walk event on April 10 in support of a national service project, “One Day Without Shoes” to provide shoes for needy children.
This will be the first time BVU has been involved with this national effort which is sponsored by TOMS Shoes, a company that matches every pair of its shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes that it gives to a child in need. Through its “one for one” promotion the company provides shoes to needy children around the world year-round.
Several BVU student organizations including Student MOVE (Mobilizing Outreach and Volunteer Efforts), an organization that coordinates student service activities; Amnesty International; Human Performance Service Organization (HIPSO); Oxfam and Student Association of Social Workers are collaborating to host this event. The groups are encouraging people to go shoeless the entire day to bring awareness to the cause. At BVU, students will be able to go barefoot for the day where it is safe and okay to do so, but have to wear shoes in the science labs, art labs and the food service and dining area, says Ashley Farmer-Hanson, director of civic engagement. The Alta-Aurelia High School is also partnering with BVU on the project.
John Killpack, a junior biology major from Logan, says, “We will be hosting a walk from 4-5 p.m. with HIPSO starting at the Victory Arch on central campus. The Storm Lake community is welcome to attend the walk. I cannot wait to go barefoot for a day and experience how others around the world go through life without a pair of typical shoes.”
The BVU and Alta-Aurelia students are selling t-shirts to raise money to purchase shoes locally for needy children in Buena Vista County. T-shirts will be available for sale at the walk for $10. Additionally, a used shoe drive will take place on campus for Soles4Souls, a charitable organization based in Tennessee.
Kimberly Perez, a junior mathematics and biochemistry double major from Brownsville, Texas who is one of students coordinating the event, says, “A day without shoes is a day to step away from the ignorance that millions of people don’t own shoes. This day will not only educate the community but also help the community reevaluate what is important.”
According to the TOMS Web site, “One Day Without Shoes is the day we raise awareness of the impact a pair of shoes can have on a child’s life by going without shoes. Millions of children live without shoes. Many are exposed to injury and disease each day, and are not allowed to go to school without shoes.”