Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Unshod--One Day without Shoes

It's time to link up to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. The letter this week is "U." U is for unshod.

Yesterday, my daughter's school observed One Day Without Shoes. It's a movement encouraging people to spend one day (April 10th) without shoes so they can empathize how horrible it must be to live in a poor country and go barefoot. Going barefoot can cause heath issues such as jiggers in addition to physically hurting your feet on debris. In addition, not having shoes can be a barrier to going to school, making education difficult to achieve.

TOMS Shoes is behind this cause. With every shoe purchased, TOMS Shoes donates a pair to a child in need of a new pair of shoes. As of two years ago, TOMS has given over 600,000 pairs of shoes. Considering the rise in their popularity over the last couple of years, I'm sure that number is much higher today!

My daughter's teacher is the person responsible for bringing One Day without Shoes to my daughter's school. Because of this, my daughter and her class had to "play tour guides" for the school to help them experience One Day without Shoes. I'm not sure they executed it exactly as the program was intended because you can't have kids go barefoot for the entire day. But the kids did take their shoes off and go through different areas of the playground where they had to walk on different surfaces to feel some level of discomfort.

The kids walked through mushed bananas, very wet mud, ice, sandpaper, and marbles. My daughter wasn't fond of the marbles. She was too scared she'd fall, so she didn't spend much time there. She did spend extra time in the other stations though. She said she wanted to really experience what poor people have to live through in other countries.

I wonder if she kind of enjoyed the sensory experience. She claimed she didn't (but I wonder).

It was a wonderful experience for the kids, and it hopefully showed them that they have it pretty good here. I'm all for any exercise that helps develop empathy.

TOMS Shoes did not reimburse me for this post. They don't know my blog or anything about me. I just think their company mission is cool and wanted to share about this project, which I also think is cool!


  1. What a great idea! When I first started reading this post, I thought, "heck, my kids rarely wear shoes and would think this is a treat" but when you described all the stuff they had to walk on, it made sense. I think my son would enjoy the sensory experience, but his tactile aversion would probably make the bananas very uncomfortable for him!

  2. Even though I grew up "barefoot," I am a firm believer in TOMS cause. When I was young, the family doctor told my mother that the only reason children needed to wear shoes was to keep their feet warm. Foot injuries are really quite dangerous for youngsters, and can lead to serious infections. Having said that, providing children with properly fitting shoes is equally important. My mother was not very cautious about our footwear, and we were frequently told to "wear them one more time" when we complained about tight shoes.

    Since our yard has no grass--only rocks--I never go outside without shoes. In fact, I put them on as I am getting out of bed in the morning. Tile floors are really tough on the older spine.

    This is a wonderful post!!!

  3. So good to hear this Win-Win story!

  4. Shoes are the first thing to come off when I get in the house. But I know how necessary they are. Love that your daughters teacher did this and I'll google Toms. Hope you visit my post this week. After the silliness there's an update that, in a way, ties in with this subject....
    Thanks for a great U post:)

  5. That is a good project. My poor feet wouldn't make it a day without shoes I'm afraid.

  6. Visiting from Alphabe-Thursday for the first time.
    Great post for the letter U.
    What a great experiment for the kids.

  7. Wonderful post. I had heard about this TOMS project before, but, I have to say, the way your daughter's school participated is really unique (another U word for your post!) What a great way to introduce kids to the idea of giving back to others.

  8. I hadn't heard about TOMS but we do have a local shop that accepts shoes for Soles for Souls. Any work to help is outstanding.

    I've practiced walking meditation before and the sensory experience is unbelievable. Other than that, I never go barefoot. Tender tootsies.

  9. What a wonderful idea. We all learn best through experience...especially when learning compassion!


  10. I bet she will remember this for a long time. JDaniel would love walking through all those substances!

  11. Super post. I'm all for helping young people understand how others live.

  12. I heard about TOM shoes! Wow, you're on the ball -I would have to look that word up in the dictionary:):)

  13. It seems very interesting. Sounds like a great activity to sensitize children to poverty. The propose in my child's school.

  14. *gulp* My son would have hated this exercise - sensory nightmare for his feet. I remember the first time I had him walk on grass. Yikes. Love Toms shoes.

  15. A day without shoes event sounds like a very unique way ro have children empathize with chiuldren in need. Kudos to Tomes Shoes for hosting this event!

  16. This is such a Unique idea...

    I really like the whole concept of it!

    Thanks for sharing it because it is Unbelievable what the less fortunate must endure on a daily basis...

    I like the idea of bringing more awareness through empathy!


  17. Hello.
    I'm playing catch-up from last week.

    I think this was a wonderful idea. As a young boy in Trinidad, although my family were poor, there were a lot poorer than me and we used to have a few children in school who would walk for miles barefoot just to get to school. Hats off to Toms Shoes. Wish there were more like that organization. Great post! Thanks for sharing & visiting.

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