Coming up tomorrow is the One Day Without Shoes event, a day spent in awareness about the impact a pair of shoes can have on a child's life. All day you'll see folks all over town walking around without a thing protecting their feet from the sidewalk, street or grass below, all in an effort to experience life without shoes first hand, and to inspire others and increase awareness at the same time.
Through everyday encounters with domestic poverty, we are reminded to appreciate having food and shelter, but most of us all but forget about our feet. Food, shelter, AND shoes facilitate life’s fundamentals. Imagine a life without shoes; constantly aware of the ground in front of you, suffering regular cuts and scrapes, tending to infection after each walk, and enduring not only terrain, but heat and cold.
Of course, there's a product for sale at the bottom of this awareness campaign, and it's TOMS shoes. While TOMS isn't based in Tulsa (not that you couldn't move here, TOMS - there's still time!), it's still on the shortlist of companies I admire enough to write about here on this crazy blog. Their message and their mission goes over well with this native Tulsan, raised in one of the most giving and philanthropic cities in the U.S. - with every pair of TOMS shoes purchased, the company gives a pair of new shoes to a child in need.
Brookside boutique Ida Red is hosting its own One Day Without Shoes barefoot walk. You can take part by showing up at 3346 S. Peoria tomorrow (Thursday) night at 5:30 p.m. The walk will get started at 6. Bring your banners, t-shirts, support and, of course, your bare tootsies.
And also, your best, loudest, most Hanson-worthy squee.
That's right. Not only do you get to take a stand (a barefoot stand, but a stand nonetheless) against the forces of poverty, but you also get to scope out three of Tulsa's homegrown superstars. Cool, right?
So, after hearing about this event, I couldn't help but think about the places in Tulsa I wouldn't want to be caught without shoes. The irony is, the places to where I might consider bringing an extra pair of shoes in case I lost of first one because the prospect of going barefoot is just that unnerving are the same parts of town where our kids are less likely to be able to afford them in the first place.
This barefoot problem, it's not an issue that's relegated to some foreign country thousands of miles away, on the other side of a vast ocean. If supporting the effort to raise awareness about the lack of access to shoes in the world's impoverished countries seems abstract to you, head to Ida Red tomorrow night with a banner calling attention to the fact that organizations like Catholic Charities, Project Elf and scores of others work every day to find shoes for Tulsa's children.
Before you head out to the walk at Ida Red, be sure to RSVP on the TOMS site. Doing this will enter you into a drawing for an all-expense paid shoe drop. How cool would that be? Plus, sending in your RSVP helps the folks at Ida Red, an independent, local business, with future TOMS events.
Even if you can't make the walk, spent at least a few minutes barefoot tomorrow. Contemplate what life would be life if you didn't have the choice to put those shoes back on, a choice that's out of reach not only for kids on the other side of the world, but also for children right here in our own community.