A lot of you have probably heard of TOMS Shoes, the company that gives one pair of shoes away for every pair they sell. If you haven’t, check out their website (www.toms.com). They’re a great company and we’re happy to be involved whenever they have an event to promote their cause.
On April 8th, TOMS celebrates One Day Without Shoes. In cities all over the world people go without shoes for an hour or a day to show support for kids who don’t have any shoes. And let me tell you, it gives you a healthy respect for the hardships faced by the lack of such a simple thing.In case you’re thinking that shoes aren’t that important, here are some of the difficulties faced by kids who don’t have them:
- Children develop cuts and sores from unsafe roads and contaminated soil. These cuts become infected and can lead to life-threatening diseases.
- Walking is often the primary mode of transportation, and a pair of shoes allows a child to walk much further distances for food, water, shelter and medical help.
- Shoes are often a required part of school uniform in developing countries, and owning a pair of shoes can mean the difference between receiving an education and being condemned to a lifetime of poverty.
- The leading cause of disease in developing countries is soil-transmitted parasites which enter the body through pores or sores on the soles of the feet.
- An estimated 740 million people are infected with hookworms, which enter the body through the skin when people walk barefoot.
- Millions of people are at risk for podoconiosis, which is caused by walking barefoot in volcanic soil. Fine silica enters the lymphatic system through the pores on a person’s feet, and causes feet and legs to swell to gigantic proportions. Sufferers experience pain and loss of function, and are often ostracized because of their deformities. And the disease is completely preventable, just by wearing shoes.
On April 8th this year, EBOOST staff were proud to join TOMS for their one-mile barefoot march in Venice, CA, where both TOMS and EBOOST are located. Of course, we took our little packets of powdered goodness with us and gave them away to other walkers. Check out the photos: