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The Tartan

A walk in their shoes, or without

Morgan Tyner

mtyner@radford.edu

Imagine if everywhere you walk, you are shoeless. Imagine all the places you would not want to be barefoot in. In third-world countries such as Rwanda and Kenya, this is a reality to millions of people.

On Tuesday, April 5 “One Day Without Shoes,” the annual worldwide event to help promote awareness that not every one has a pair of kicks, set foot on Radford University.

Over one million people suffer from infections or diseases such as podoconiosis, a disease characterizd by tissue swelling, which is 100 percent preventable from through hygiene and a pair of shoes, according to TOMS Shoes’ website.

Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS Shoes, started this movement after traveling to Argentina and seeing children walking the streets with no shoes on their feet. He thought he should help, believing that every child deserves a pair of shoes.

Upon his return home, he got his friends and family together to donate shoes. From there he created TOMS Shoes, which donates a pair of shoes to a child after someone buys a pair.

RU’s campus may have been cold and rainy, but many students and staff members participated, whether for 30 minutes or all day.

Sophomore Erin Bowling participated in “One Day Without Shoes” last year and went half the day without shoes this year. She had to put them back on when she had to go to class, but slipped them back off when she came out.

“I wanted to see what it was like,” Bowling said. “Last year was really nice but this year is really cold.”

TOMS at Radford, a student group that was formed to help promote awareness, wants people to take action and donate to children in need. This year TOMS at RU put on a “barefoot run/walk,” starting at the red clocks at Heth to get students in action.

Even though the day has come and gone, you still can’t help out. Visit toms.com to get more information.

TOMS at RU said on their Facebook site, “We hope that you will join us in our fight to put shoes on the feet of children in need.”